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Stefan Kuhn, † Peter Asenbaum, † Alon Kosloff, ‡ Michele Sclafani, †,∥ Benjamin A. Stickler, § Stefan Nimmrichter, § Klaus Hornberger, § Ori Cheshnovsky, ‡ Fernando Patolsky, ‡ and Markus Arndt* ,†


July 13, 2015


Optical control of nanoscale objects has
recently developed into a thriving field of research with farreaching promises for precision measurements, fundamental quantum physics and studies on single-particle thermodynamics. Here, we demonstrate the optical manipulation of silicon nanorods in high vacuum. Initially, we sculpture these particles into a silicon substrate with a tailored geometry to facilitate their launch into high vacuum by laser-induced
mechanical cleavage. We manipulate and trace their center-ofmass and rotational motion through the interaction with an intense intracavity field. Our experiments show that the anisotropy of the nanorotors leads to optical forces that are three times stronger than on silicon nanospheres of the same
mass. The optical torque experienced by the spinning rods will enable cooling of the rotational motion and torsional optomechanics in a dissipation-free environment.

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