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Nick Vamivakas' group optically levitates nano diamonds

August 12, 2013

What could be more tantalizing than glowing, nanoscale diamonds, suspended by lasers? That's what a team led by Nick Vamivakas, assistant professor of optics, has pulled off, as described in a paper last week in Optics Letters. Their experiment demonstrates that it is possible to levitate diamonds as small as 100 nanometers (approximately one-thousandth the diameter of a human hair) in free space, by using a technique known as laser trapping. This is fascinating work, with some interesting applications that you can read about here