Optical forces in nanoplasmonic systems: how do they work, what can they be useful for?
n this article, we share our vision for a future nanofactory, where plasmonic trapping is used to control the different manufacturing steps associated with the transformation of initial nanostructures to produce complex compounds. All the different functions existing in a traditional factory can be translated at the nanoscale using the optical forces produced by plasmonic nanostructures. A detailed knowledge of optical forces in plasmonic nanostructures is however essential to design such a nanofactory. To this end, we review the numerical techniques for computing optical forces on nanostructures immersed in a strong optical field and show under which conditions approximate solutions, like the dipole approximation, can be used in a satisfactory manner. Internal optical forces on realistic plasmonic antennas are investigated and the reconfiguration of a Fano-resonant plasmonic system using such internal forces is also studied in detail.