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Toroidal nanotraps for cold polar molecules

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Phys. Rev. A
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Electronic excitations in metallic nanoparticles in the optical regime that have been of great importance in surface-enhanced spectroscopy and emerging applications of molecular plasmonics, due to control and confinement of electromagnetic energy, may also be of potential to control the motion of nanoparticles and molecules. Here, we propose a concept for trapping polarizable particles and molecules using toroidal metallic nanoparticles. Specifically, gold nanorings are investigated for their scattering properties and field distribution to computationally show that the response of these optically resonant particles to incident photons permit the formation of a nanoscale trap when proper aspect ratio, photon wavelength, and polarization are considered. However, interestingly the resonant plasmonic response of the nanoring is shown to be detrimental to the trap formation. The results are in good agreement with analytic calculations in the quasistatic limit within the first-order perturbation of the scalar electric potential. The possibility of extending the single nanoring trapping properties to two-dimensional arrays of nanorings is suggested by obtaining the field distribution of nanoring dimers and trimers.