We present a detection scheme for nanoscale particles based on the optical gradient force and torque near a tightly focused laser beam. The focus affects the path of nanoparticles passing by and a quadrant detector records the particle trajectory. A feedback system continuously adjusts the laser power thereby preventing the particles from being trapped. Particle size and shape can be assessed by evaluating the time-trace of the quadrant detector signal.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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