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  • Received: Oct. 25, 2019

    Accepted: Jan. 23, 2020

    Posted: Jan. 23, 2020

    Published Online: Mar. 24, 2020

    The Author Email: Yaxun Zhang (

    DOI: 10.1364/PRJ.381397

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    Yu Zhang, Siyu Lin, Zhihai Liu, Yaxun Zhang, Jianzhong Zhang, Jun Yang, Libo Yuan. Laser-induced rotary micromotor with high energy conversion efficiency[J]. Photonics Research, 2020, 8(4): 04000534

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Photonics Research, Vol. 8, Issue 4, 04000534 (2020)

Laser-induced rotary micromotor with high energy conversion efficiency

Yu Zhang1, Siyu Lin1, Zhihai Liu1,2,4, Yaxun Zhang1,*, Jianzhong Zhang1, Jun Yang1, and Libo Yuan3

Author Affiliations

  • 1Key Laboratory of In-fiber Integrated Optics, Ministry of Education, Harbin Engineering University, Harbin 150001, China
  • 2National Demonstration Center for Experimental Physics Education, Harbin Engineering University, Harbin 150001, China
  • 3Photonics Research Center, Guilin University of Electronics Technology, Guilin 541004, China
  • 4e-mail:


Light is a precious resource that nature has given to human beings. Converting green, recyclable light energy into the mechanical energy of a micromotor is undoubtedly an exciting challenge. However, the performance of current light-induced micromotor devices is unsatisfactory, as the light-to-work conversion efficiency is only 10?1510?12. In this paper, we propose and demonstrate a laser-induced rotary micromotor operated by Δα-type photopheresis in pure liquid glycerol, whose energy conversion ratio reaches as high as 10?9, which is 3–6 orders of magnitude higher than that of previous light-induced micromotor devices. In addition, we operate the micromotor neither with a light field carrying angular momentum nor with a rotor with a special rotating symmetrical shape. We just employ an annular-core fiber to configure a conical-shaped light field and select a piece of graphite sheet (with an irregular shape) as the micro-rotor. The Δα-type photophoretic force introduced by the conical-shaped light field drives the rotation of the graphite sheet. We achieve a rotation rate up to 818.2 r/min, which can be controlled by tuning the incident laser power. This optical rotary micromotor is available for twisting macromolecules or generating vortex and shear force in a medium at the nanoscale.

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