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Electron Tweezers as a Tool for High Precision Manipulation of Nanoobjects



Vladimir P. Oleshko, James Howe


Trapping of nanometer size objects by optical tweezers is challenging because the forces become very small for nanoparticles and the resolving power of light optical (near-field) microscopy is currently limited to ~15 nm. Focused electron beams with much smaller wavelength than light produced in S/TEMs enable imaging, diffraction and spectroscopy at subnanometer spatial resolution and appear to be valuable complement to conventional optical tweezers. Recent experiments demonstrate that electron beams are able to trap and manipulate nanoparticles in liquids or deposited on supports by transferring linear and angular mechanical momenta. Electron tweezers can be utilized for high precision manipulation and tracking of nanoobjects and for fabrication of assembled nanodevices with atomic level sensitivity and lateral resolution provided by modern electron optics. This is at least by three orders of magnitude better than for light microscopy utilized in conventional tweezers. We outline new research directions and potential applications of electron nanotweezers.
Advances in Physics


Oleshko, V. and Howe, J. (2013), Electron Tweezers as a Tool for High Precision Manipulation of Nanoobjects, Advances in Physics, [online], (Accessed April 15, 2024)
Created July 22, 2013, Updated May 25, 2020