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Optical tractor beam with chiral light

Fernandes, D. E. ; Silveirinha, M. G.

Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics Vol. 91, Nº 061801(R), pp. 1 - 5, June, 2015.

ISSN (print): 1050-2947
ISSN (online): 1094-1622

Scimago Journal Ranking: 1,75 (in 2015)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1103/PhysRevA.91.061801

We suggest a novel mechanism to induce the motion of a chiral material body towards an optical source with
no optical traps. Our solution is based on the interference between a chiral light beam and its reflection on an
opaque mirror. Surprisingly, it is theoretically shown that the electromagnetic response of the material may be
tailored in such a way that independent of the specific body location with respect to the mirror, it is always pulled
upstream against the photon flow associated with the incoming wave. Moreover, it is proven that by controlling
the handedness of the incoming light it may be possible to harness the sign of the optical force, switching from
a pulling force to a pushing force.