Abstract

The ability to optically rotate bodies offers new degrees of control of micro-objects with applications in various domains, including microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), biomanipulations, or optofluidics. Here we demonstrate the optically-induced rotation of simple asymmetric two-dimensional objects using plane waves originating either from ordinary laser sources or from black body radiation. The objects are floating on an air/water interface. We observe a steady-state rotation depending on the light intensity and on the asymmetry of the object. We interpret this rotation in terms of light diffraction by the edges of the object. Such systems could be easily implemented in optofluidic devices to induce liquid flow without the need for special light sources.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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