Science fiction writers have long envisioned sailing a spacecraft by the optical force of the sun's light. But, the forces of sunlight are too weak to fill even the oversized sails that have been tried. Now a team led by researchers at the Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science has shown that the force of light indeed can be harnessed to drive machines — when the process is scaled to nano-proportions
Nanophotonics and nanomechanics make possible the extreme miniaturization of optics and mechanics on a silicon chip. This new research, led by scientists at the Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science, opens the door to a new class of semiconductor devices that are operated by the force of light. They envision a future where this process powers quantum information processing and sensing devices, as well as telecommunications that run at ultrahigh speed and consume little power.
Nanotechnology Now - Press Release: "'The photon force is with us': Harnessing light to drive nanomachines"
Light Drives Nanomachines
Yale University - School of Engineering & Applied Science
Harnessing optical forces in integrated photonic circuits : Abstract : Nature
'The photon force is with us': Harnessing light to drive nanomachines
“The Photon Force is with us”: Harnessing Light to Drive Nanomachines