We report here the optical trapping of a heterogeneous colloidal dimer above a photonic crystal nanocavity used as an on-chip optical tweezer. The trapped dimer consists of a cluster of two dielectric microbeads of different sizes linked by van der Waals forces. The smallest bead, 1 μm in diameter, is observed to be preferentially trapped by the nanotweezer, leaving the second bead untrapped. The rotational nature of the trapped dimer Brownian motion is first evidenced. Then, in the presence of a fluid flow, control of its orientation and rotation is achieved. The whole system is found to show high rotational degrees of freedom, thereby acting as an effective flow-sensitive microscopic optical ball joint.

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