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Manipulating Biomaterials and Nanomaterials with Light

Optical tweezers, a Noble-Prize-winning invention by Arthur Ashkin, are widely used for remote manipulation and study of biological cells and molecules. We have further advanced this technology by developing a series of optical manipulation techniques that overcome existing limitations, providing expanded working modes, versatility in working environments, and the ability to target a diverse range of materials, all with reduced optical power requirements, minimal sample damage, and ease of use. These techniques push the frontiers of knowledge in biology and nanoscience, while facilitating the development of micro/nanoscale robots, lab-on-a-chip devices, and nano-architected materials for diverse applications in health, information technology, energy, and environmental sustainability