Optical magnetic dipole levitation using a plasmonic surface

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Optically induced magnetic resonances in nonmagnetic media have unlocked magnetic light-matter interactions and led to new technologies in many research fields. Previous proposals for the levitation of nanoscale particles without structured illumination have worked on the basis of epsilon-near-zero surfaces or anisotropic materials, but these materials carry with them significant fabrication difficulties. We report the optical levitation of a magnetic dipole over a wide range of realistic materials, including bulk metals, thereby relieving these difficulties. The repulsion is independent of surface losses, and we propose an experiment to detect this force which consists of a core-shell nanoparticle, exhibiting a magnetic resonance, in close proximity to a gold substrate under plane wave illumination. We anticipate the use of this phenomenon in new nanomechanical devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7094-7099
Number of pages6
JournalNano Letters
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2020


  • magnetic dipole
  • metamaterials
  • nanoparticles
  • optical magnetism
  • optical manipulation


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