Optical trapping and critical Casimir forces
Department of Physics, University of Gothenburg, 41296, Gothenburg, Sweden
2 SISSA – International School for Advanced Studies, 34136, Trieste, Italy
3 INFN, Sezione di Trieste, 34136, Trieste, Italy
Accepted: 13 December 2020
Published online: 15 February 2021
Critical Casimir forces emerge between objects, such as colloidal particles, whenever their surfaces spatially confine the fluctuations of the order parameter of a critical liquid used as a solvent. These forces act at short but microscopically large distances between these objects, reaching often hundreds of nanometers. Keeping colloids at such distances is a major experimental challenge, which can be addressed by the means of optical tweezers. Here, we review how optical tweezers have been successfully used to quantitatively study critical Casimir forces acting on particles in suspensions. As we will see, the use of optical tweezers to experimentally study critical Casimir forces can play a crucial role in developing nano-technologies, representing an innovative way to realize self-assembled devices at the nano- and microscale.
© The Author(s) 2021
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