FemtoNewton force sensing with optically trapped nanotubes

O.M. Marago, P.H. Jones, V. Scardaci, F. Bonaccorso, P.G. Gucciardi, Aleksey Rozhin, A.C. Ferrari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We extract the distribution of both center-of-mass and angular fluctuations from three-dimensional tracking of optically trapped nanotubes. We measure the optical force and torque constants from autocorrelation and cross-correlation of the tracking signals. This allows us to isolate the angular Brownian motion. We demonstrate that nanotubes enable nanometer spatial and femtonewton force resolution in photonic force microscopy, the smallest to date. This has wide implications in nanotechnology, biotechnology, nanofluidics, and material science.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3211-3216
Number of pages6
JournalNano Letters
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2008


  • center-of-mass
  • angular fluctuations
  • three-dimensional tracking
  • optically trapped nanotubes
  • optical force
  • torque constants
  • autocorrelation
  • cross-correlation
  • tracking signals
  • angular Brownian motion
  • nanotubes
  • nanometer spatial
  • femtonewton force resolution
  • photonic force microscopy
  • nanotechnology
  • biotechnology
  • nanofluidics
  • material science


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