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Optically trapping single gold nanowires in three dimensions

 The experimental findings are corroborated by electrodynamics simulations. These results extend the list of plasmonic nanostructures that can be trapped in three dimensions by single-beam optical tweezers from nanoparticles and nanorods to much longer nanowires, which were formerly considered impossible to trap.

The results indicate that the previous concern – that absorption and scattering in large metal particles are too strong to allow single-beam optical trapping – is overly simplified. Other issues, such as colloidal stability and thermal effects, may play a role in determining which particles can and cannot be trapped, as well as the fact that absorption and scattering depend strongly on the composition and geometry of the metal particles.

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