Nano-optomechafluidics – NOFX2015
The present project intends to develop a novel hybrid “nano-optomechafluidics” measurement platform, whose original principle is based on coupling a strongly focused laser beam to the vibrations of a low-dissipation suspended nano-channel. This concept holds a considerable potential, with very high mutual benefits in both fields of nano-optomechanics and nanofluidics.
On the one hand, the nanofluid can be used for tuning key parameters involved in the nano-optomechanical interaction (e.g. refractive index, optical absorption…). This is essential in the context of exploring the limits of sensitivity and associated backaction mechanisms for the nano-optomechanical interaction, which remains poorly understood. Moreover, the nanochannel can also be fed using optically active particles (molecules, nano-diamonds, colloidal quantum dots…), which can be subsequently trapped using the tweezers geometry of the apparatus, thereby forming a so-called “quantum hybrid nano-optomechanical system”. Beside a much higher loading efficiency compared to currently existing methods, such configuration will enable a significant decrease of the required trapping power, thanks to the benefit of the intrinsic restoring force of the nanochannel. This will represent a significant asset towards reaching the quantum regime of hybrid nanomechanical systems.
On the other hand, the exquisite sensitivity enabled by the nano-optomechanical detection can serve for measuring real-time properties of the nanofluid. Firstly, the envisioned nano-optomechanical coupling scheme has been recently shown to enable broadband, high-frequency detection of the internal thermodynamic state of nanomechanical resonators. These unique abilities can serve for ultra-sensitive tracking of the evolution of the thermodynamic parameters of the nanofluid (e.g. temperature, density, viscosity…), with unprecedented time resolution. This appears as a very appealing perspective for general and versatile, ultra-sensitive sensing purposes, notably for bio-related applications. Secondly, it has been recently shown that nanomechanical resonators can be operated in such a way that they become spatially sensitive to the changes of their environments. Transposed to the nanochannel envisioned in the present context, these advanced measurement strategies will enable real-time tracking of single particles traveling inside the nano-capillary, that is a local measurement of nanofluid transport properties at the nanometre scale which has so far remained unavailable.
The project will associate the complementary expertise of three young researchers specialized in nano-optomechanics (Project Coordinator, MCF), nanofluidics (Project Participant, CR2), and in nano-fabrication (Project Participant, IR).
Monsieur Pierre VERLOT (Institut Lumière Matière)
The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.
ILM Institut Lumière Matière
Help of the ANR 302,657 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: September 2015 - 36 Months