Stochastic localization of microswimmers by photon nudging

Andreas P. Bregulla, Haw Yang, Frank Cichos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


Force-free trapping and steering of single photophoretically self-propelled Janus-type particles using a feedback mechanism is experimentally demonstrated. Realtime information on particle position and orientation is used to switch the self-propulsion mechanism of the particle optically. The orientational Brownian motion of the particle thereby provides the reorientation mechanism for the microswimmer. The particle size dependence of the photophoretic propulsion velocity reveals that photon nudging provides an increased position accuracy for decreasing particle radius. The explored steering mechanism is suitable for navigation in complex biological environments and in-depth studies of collective swimming effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6542-6550
Number of pages9
JournalACS Nano
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 22 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • General Physics and Astronomy


  • Janus particle
  • microswimmer
  • photophoresis
  • thermophoresis
  • trapping


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