Stand-off trapping and manipulation of sub-10 nm objects and biomolecules using opto-thermo-electrohydrodynamic tweezers

A Publisher Correction to this article was published on 29 September 2020

This article has been updated

Abstract

Optical tweezers have emerged as a powerful tool for the non-invasive trapping and manipulation of colloidal particles and biological cells1,2. However, the diffraction limit precludes the low-power trapping of nanometre-scale objects. Substantially increasing the laser power can provide enough trapping potential depth to trap nanoscale objects. Unfortunately, the substantial optical intensity required causes photo-toxicity and thermal stress in the trapped biological specimens3. Low-power near-field nano-optical tweezers comprising plasmonic nanoantennas and photonic crystal cavities have been explored for stable nanoscale object trapping4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13. However, the demonstrated approaches still require that the object is trapped at the high-light-intensity region. We report a new kind of optically controlled nanotweezers, called opto-thermo-electrohydrodynamic tweezers, that enable the trapping and dynamic manipulation of nanometre-scale objects at locations that are several micrometres away from the high-intensity laser focus. At the trapping locations, the nanoscale objects experience both negligible photothermal heating and light intensity. Opto-thermo-electrohydrodynamic tweezers employ a finite array of plasmonic nanoholes illuminated with light and an applied a.c. electric field to create the spatially varying electrohydrodynamic potential that can rapidly trap sub-10 nm biomolecules at femtomolar concentrations on demand. This non-invasive optical nanotweezing approach is expected to open new opportunities in nanoscience and life science by offering an unprecedented level of control of nano-sized objects, including photo-sensitive biological molecules.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 2: Demonstration of transport, trapping and release of a single BSA protein molecule, as well as the stability of a trapped single BSA molecule.
Fig. 3: Frame-by-frame images showing a demonstration of dynamic manipulation of a single BSA protein molecule.
Fig. 4: Illustration of trapping stability and trapping position as a function of a.c. frequency.
Fig. 5: Frame-by-frame sequence showing the size-based sorting of dielectric polystyrene beads using OTET.

Data availability

The datasets generated and/or analysed during the current study are available in the Harvard Dataverse repository (https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/LFVQOD). Source data are provided with this paper.

Change history

  • 29 September 2020

    An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.

References

  1. 1.

    Neuman, K. C. & Block, S. M. Optical trapping. Rev. Sci. Instrum. 75, 2787–2809 (2004).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Ashkin, A. & Dziedzic, J. M. Optical trapping and manipulation of viruses and bacteria. Science 235, 1517–1520 (1987).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Blázquez-Castro, A. Optical tweezers: phototoxicity and thermal stress in cells and biomolecules. Micromachines 10, 507–549 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Juan, M. L., Gordon, R., Pang, Y., Eftekhari, F. & Quidant, R. Self-induced back-action optical trapping of dielectric nanoparticles. Nat. Phys. 5, 915–919 (2009).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Pang, Y. & Gordon, R. Optical trapping of 12 nm dielectric spheres using double-nanoholes in a gold film. Nano Lett. 11, 3763–3767 (2011).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Yoo, D. et al. Low-power optical trapping of nanoparticles and proteins with resonant coaxial nanoaperture using 10 nm gap. Nano Lett. 18, 3637–3642 (2018).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Saleh, A. A. E. & Dionne, J. A. Toward efficient optical trapping of sub-10-nm particles with coaxial plasmonic apertures. Nano Lett. 12, 5581–5586 (2012).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Zheng, Y. et al. Nano-optical conveyor belt, part II: demonstration of handoff between near-field optical traps. Nano Lett. 14, 2971–2976 (2014).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Roxworthy, B. J. et al. Application of plasmonic bowtie nanoantenna arrays for optical trapping, stacking, and sorting. Nano Lett. 12, 796–801 (2012).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Lin, L. et al. Opto-thermoelectric nanotweezers. Nat. Photon. 12, 195–201 (2018).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Mandai, S., Serey, X. & Erickson, D. Nanomanipulation using silicon photonic crystal resonators. Nano Lett. 10, 99–104 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Wang, K., Schonbrun, E., Steinvurzel, P. & Crozier, K. B. Trapping and rotating nanoparticles using a plasmonic nano-tweezer with an integrated heat sink. Nat. Commun. 2, 469 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Shoji, T. & Tsuboi, Y. Plasmonic optical tweezers toward molecular manipulation: tailoring plasmonic nanostructure, light source, and resonant trapping. J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 5, 2957–2967 (2014).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Ndukaife, J. C. et al. Long-range and rapid transport of individual nano-objects by a hybrid electrothermoplasmonic nanotweezer. Nat. Nanotechnol. 11, 53–59 (2016).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Ndukaife, J. C. et al. High-resolution large-ensemble nanoparticle trapping with multifunctional thermoplasmonic nanohole metasurface. ACS Nano 12, 5376–5384 (2018).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Ndukaife, J. C., Shalaev, V. M. & Boltasseva, A. Plasmonics—turning loss into gain. Science 351, 334–335 (2016).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Garcia-Guirado, J. et al. Overcoming diffusion-limited biosensing by electrothermoplasmonics. ACS Photonics 5, 3673–3679 (2018).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Hong, C., Yang, S. & Ndukaife, J. C. Optofluidic control using plasmonic TiN bowtie nanoantenna. Opt. Mater. Express 9, 953–964 (2019).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Dienerowitz, M., Mazilu, M., Reece, P. J., Krauss, T. F. & Dholakia, K. Optical vortex trap for resonant confinement of metal nanoparticles. Opt. Express 16, 4991–4999 (2008).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Fränzl, M. et al. Thermophoretic trap for single amyloid fibril and protein aggregation studies. Nat. Methods 16, 611–614 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Squires, T. M. & Bazant, M. Z. Induced-charge electro-osmosis. J. Fluid Mech. 509, 217–252 (2004).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Melcher, J. R. & Firebaugh, M. S. Traveling-wave bulk electroconvection induced across a temperature gradient. Phys. Fluids 10, 1178–1185 (1967).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Hatlo, M. M. & Lue, L. The role of image charges in the interactions between colloidal particles. Soft Matter 4, 1582–1596 (2008).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Nagpal, P., Lindquist, N. C., Oh, S. H. & Norris, D. J. Ultrasmooth patterned metals for plasmonics and metamaterials. Science 325, 594–597 (2009).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Ghosh, S. & Ghosh, A. All optical dynamic nanomanipulation with active colloidal tweezers. Nat. Commun. 10, 4191 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Pang, Y. & Gordon, R. Optical trapping of a single protein. Nano Lett. 12, 402–406 (2012).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  27. 27.

    Krishnan, M., Mojarad, N., Kukura, P. & Sandoghdar, V. Geometry-induced electrostatic trapping of nanometric objects in a fluid. Nature 467, 692–695 (2010).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge financial support from the National Science Foundation (NSF ECCS-1933109) and Vanderbilt University. We thank A. Locke for providing the protein samples and K. Wang and C. Batista for help with the zeta potential measurements.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

J.C.N. conceived and guided the project. C.H. fabricated the samples and performed the experiments and the numerical simulations. S.Y. contributed to the wave-optics simulations. J.C.N and C.H. discussed the results and wrote the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Justus C. Ndukaife.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Additional information

Peer review information Nature Nanotechnology thanks Reuven Gordon and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work

Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

Supplementary Figs. 1–2, discussion and refs. 1–5.

Supplementary Video 1

Fast transport, trapping and release of a single BSA protein molecule.

Supplementary Video 2

Dynamic manipulation of a single BSA protein molecule.

Supplementary Video 3

Frequency-dependent tuning of trapping position.

Supplementary Video 4

Sorting 20 nm polystyrene particles from a mixture of 100 nm and 20 nm polystyrene particles by changing the a.c. frequency.

Source data

Source Data Fig. 2

Excel data of particle positions for different a.c. frequencies.

Source Data Fig. 4

Excel data of particle displacements from the edge of the nanohole array for different a.c. frequencies; simulation data for the fluid’s radial velocity as a function of position for different a.c. frequencies; and Excel data of particle positions for different a.c. frequencies.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Hong, C., Yang, S. & Ndukaife, J.C. Stand-off trapping and manipulation of sub-10 nm objects and biomolecules using opto-thermo-electrohydrodynamic tweezers. Nat. Nanotechnol. (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41565-020-0760-z

Download citation

Search

Find nanotechnology articles, nanomaterial data and patents all in one place. Visit Nano by Nature Research