Abstract

We demonstrate that a lateral optical force (LOF) can be induced on paired chiral nanoparticles with opposite handedness under the illumination of a linearly polarized plane wave. The LOFs on both chiral particles are equal and thus can move the pair sideways, with the direction depending on the separation between two particles, as well as the handedness of particle chirality. Analytical theory reveals that the LOF comes largely from the optical potential gradient established by the multiple scattering of light between the paired particles with asymmetric chirality. In addition, it is weakly dependent on the material loss of a particle, a feature of gradient force, while heavily dependent on the magnitude and handedness of particle chirality. The effect is expected to find applications in sorting and separating chiral dimers of different handedness.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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