Dissertation Defense: Jeffrey Eric Melzer "Assembly of Structures Using Optical Tweezers"

    Thursday, August 13, 2020 - 1:00pm - 4:00pm

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    Password: JEM


    Optical tweezers (OT) have received considerable recognition for their applications in the probing of biological systems and the measurement of biomechanical forces. OT are exceptionally versatile due to their non-contact, low-power trapping capabilities that extend over a large range of object sizes and compositions. We use these advantages of OT to develop an assembly platform for the fabrication of micro- and nano-scale structures. We first investigate the fundamental physics regarding the motion of an optically trapped object in a liquid medium. In the course of this investigation, we achieve record lateral translation speeds for metallic and dielectric nanospheres around 100 nm in diameter. Next, we evaluate the potential for the assembly of hundreds of micron-scale objects using OT, leading to the fabrication of the largest free-standing structure assembled using the OT platform to date. Finally, we delve into the realm of nanoassembly. Through the optimization of biochemistry techniques and significant improvements in system positional accuracy, we assemble the first multi-material, three-dimensional nanostructure using optical tweezers.