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We investigate the manipulation of microscopic and nanoscopic particles using the evanescent optical field surrounding an optical fiber that is tapered to a micron-scale diameter, and propose that this scheme could be used to discriminate between, and thereby sort, metallic nanoparticles. First we show experimentally the concept of the transport of micron-sized spheres along a tapered fiber and measure the particle velocity. Having demonstrated the principle we then consider theoretically thedoi:10.1016/j.jqsrt.2012.06.005 fatcat:yyc2szgg65csbodnl6r6gbdvg4