Resonator nanophotonic standing-wave array trap for single-molecule manipulation and measurement
Nanophotonic tweezers represent emerging platforms with significant potential for parallel manipulation and measurements of single biological molecules on-chip. However, trapping force generation represents a substantial obstacle for their broader utility. Here, we present a resonator nanophotonic standing-wave array trap (resonator-nSWAT) that demonstrates significant force enhancement. This platform integrates a critically-coupled resonator design to the nSWAT and incorporates a novel trap reset scheme. The nSWAT can now perform standard single-molecule experiments, including stretching DNA molecules to measure their force-extension relations, unzipping DNA molecules, and disrupting and mapping protein-DNA interactions. These experiments have realized trapping forces on the order of 20 pN while demonstrating base-pair resolution with measurements performed on multiple molecules in parallel. Thus, the resonator-nSWAT platform now meets the benchmarks of a table-top precision optical trapping instrument in terms of force generation and resolution. This represents the first demonstration of a nanophotonic platform for such single-molecule experiments. Â© 2022, The Author(s).