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NYU MRSEC Seed Highlight: A Photon Driven Nano-lander orbiting a Micro-moon

  •  Whispering Gallery Mode Carousel: Forces exerted by an evanescent light wave at the surface of a spherical glass resonator draw microscopic colloidal particles toward the resonator surface
  •  Intensity of the red-shifted light provides an exponentially sensitive probe of the particle-resonator separation; wavelength probes the strength of the light-matter interaction
  • Virus-sized nanoparticle (a.k.a. “nano-lander”) in orbit about a glass microsphere (a.k.a. “micro-moon) under the influence of light that generates a radial tractor beam and a tangential photon wind
  • Non-destructive measurement of the size/mass of the particle
  • Video: 800 hits on You Tube “Whispering Gallery Mode Carousel” (
  • Provisional patent filed; “spin-off” award (NSF-CBET 0933531)