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Light-based ‘tractor beam’ assembles materials at the nanoscale – Science Daily
Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a method that could make reproducible manufacturing at the nanoscale possible. The team adapted a light-based technology employed widely in biology — known as optical traps or optical tweezers — to operate in a water-free liquid environment of carbon-rich organic solvents, thereby enabling new potential applications.
As the team reports in a paper published Oct. 30 in the journal Nature Communications, the optical tweezers act as a light-based “tractor beam” that can assemble nanoscale semiconductor materials precisely into larger structures.