Transverse optical binding for a dual dipolar dielectric nanoparticle dimer

Xiao-Yong Duan*, Graham David Bruce, Kishan Dholakia, Zhi-Guo Wang, Feng Li, Ya-Ping Yang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The physical origins of transverse optical binding force and torque beyond Rayleigh approximation have not been clearly expressed to date. Here, we present analytical expressions of the force and torque for a dual dipolar dielectric dimer illuminated by a plane wave propagating perpendicularly to the dimer axis. Using this analytical model, we explore the role of the hybridized electric dipolar, magnetic dipolar, and electric-magnetic dipolar coupling interactions in the total force and torque on the particles. We find significant departures from the predictions of the Rayleigh approximation, especially for high-refractive index particles, where the force is dominated by the magnetic interaction. This results in the enhancement of the dimer stability by 1 to 4 orders of magnitude compared to the predictions of the Rayleigh approximation. For the torque, this is dominated by the coupling interaction and increases by an order of magnitude. Our results will help to guide future experimental work in the light-controlled self-assembly of high-refractive-index dielectric particles.
Original languageEnglish
Article number013721
JournalPhysical Review. A, Atomic, molecular, and optical physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2021


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