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Colloquium Series: Dr. Zijie Yan – UNC
Tuesday, April 19 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Please join us on Tuesday, 4/19/2022 for APS Colloquium Series featuring Dr. Zijie Yan. This event will be in person only
Light at work: Controlling new optical forces for versatile nanomanipulation
Light can exert force on an object even though the force is seldom detectable. Optical tweezers manifest this effect by using tightly focused laser beams to create strong intensity gradient forces, enabling optical trapping of microscopic objects. Although this technique has led to remarkable breakthroughs in physics and biology, challenges remain in applying optical tweezers to study nanoscience, where various nanoparticles can now be synthesized but not manipulated on demand. My research group addresses these challenges. We advance the field of optical tweezers by exploring new types of optical binding and phase gradient forces to overcome the limitations of traditional intensity gradient forces. Over the past few years, we have developed new experimental and computational methods to understand and control the two optical forces, leading to versatile manipulation of nanoparticles, such as optical assembly of nanoparticles into reconfigurable materials with novel properties, and optical trapping, sorting, and transporting of nanoparticles with unprecedented precision.