Abstract

We demonstrate negative radiation pressure on gain medium structures, such that light amplification may cause a nanoscale body to be pulled toward a light source. Optically large gain medium structures, such as slabs and spheres, as well as deep subwavelength bodies, may experience this phenomenon. The threshold gain for radiation pressure reversal is obtained analytically for Rayleigh spheres, thin cylinders, and thin slabs. This threshold vanishes when the gain medium structure is surrounded by a medium with a matched refractive index, thus eliminating the positive scattering forces.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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