Optical Trapping, Sizing, and Probing Acoustic Modes of a Small Virus




Burkhartsmeyer, Jeffrey
Wang, Yanhong
Wong, Kam Sing
Gordon, Reuven

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Applied Sciences


Prior opto-mechanical techniques to measure vibrational frequencies of viruses work on large ensembles of particles, whereas, in this work, individually trapped viral particles were studied. Double nanohole (DNH) apertures in a gold film were used to achieve optical trapping of one of the smallest virus particles yet reported, PhiX174, which has a diameter of 25 nm. When a laser was focused onto these DNH apertures, it created high local fields due to plasmonic enhancement, which allowed stable trapping of small particles for prolonged periods at low powers. Two techniques were performed to characterize the virus particles. The particles were sized via an established autocorrelation analysis technique, and the acoustic modes were probed using the extraordinary acoustic Raman (EAR) method. The size of the trapped particle was determined to be 25 ± 3.8 nm, which is in good agreement with the established diameter of PhiX174. A peak in the EAR signal was observed at 32 GHz, which fits well with the predicted value from elastic theory.



optical trapping, virus, elastic properties, acoustics, GHz ultrasonics, optics, Raman


Burkhartsmeyer, J., Wang, Y., Wong, K. S., & Gordon, R. (2020). Optical Trapping, Sizing, and Probing Acoustic Modes of a Small Virus. Applied Sciences. 10(1), 1-10. https://doi.org/10.3390/app10010394.