Ding, Ming and Brambilla, Gilberto
Optical fibre nanowire sensors and applications
At NanoSciTech: Frontiers in Nanoscience, Nanotechnology and their Applications, India.
15 - 18 Feb 2012.
Optical fibre nanowires (OFN) have recently attracted increased attention because of their numerous applications in sensing and particle manipulation  and their extraordinary optical and mechanical properties, which include, amongst others:
biocompatibility: OFNs show good compatibility with cells/ biological matter as they are made from silica.
configurability/flexibility: OFN are manufactured stretching optical fibres, thus they maintain their original size at the extremities (fig. 1), allowing for prompt connection to any fiberised source/detector.
robustness: OFNs are extremely strong and have a conventional fibre pigtail at their extremity, thus can be handled with tools typical of the macroscopic world.
large evanescent fields: a considerable fraction of the transmitted power can propagate outside the OFN physical boundary when the OFN size is small, allowing for enhanced sensing and optical manipulation.
strong confinement: when OFNs are nanostructured and metal coated, light can be confined to 50-100 nm spot sizes, allowing for nanosensing and single nanoparticle trapping/manipulation.
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