Dr. Amr Saleh is a postdoctoral scholar in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at Stanford University and research director of the Microbial Culture Shift Project - a multidisciplinary project that aims to develop a new platform for rapid point-of-care bacterial infection diagnostics. Dr. Saleh obtained his PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford University where he designed plasmonic tweezers capable of trapping sub-10nm dielectric particles and developed a novel characterization technique to directly probe the near-field optical forces from those tweezers using atomic force microscopy (AFM). Prior to Stanford, he earned his bachelor’s degree in electronics engineering and master’s degree in engineering physics from Cairo University, Egypt. Dr. Saleh’s research interests center on light-matter interactions at the nanoscale, particularly to develop novel solutions for biological imaging and healthcare applications. He holds several approved and pending patents on plasmonic optical tweezers, bacterial diagnostics, and combined Raman and electron microscopy. He also holds a certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Stanford Graduate School of Business. His innovation in healthcare applications was recognized through the US Falling Walls labs innovation award.

Professional Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Stanford University, EE-PHD (2015)
  • Master of Science, Cairo University, Engineering Physics (2008)
  • Bachelor of Science, Cairo University, Electronics and Communications (2005)


  • Amr A. E. Saleh, Jennifer A. Dionne. "United States Patent 9281091 Method and structure for plasmonic optical trapping of nano-scale particles", Leland Stanford Junior University, Mar 8, 2016

All Publications

  • Nanoscopic control and quantification of enantioselective optical forces Nature Nanotechnology Zhao, Y., Saleh, A., van de Haar, M., Baum, B., Briggs, J. A., Lay, A., Reyes-Becerra, O. A., Dionne, J. A. 2017: 1055–59


    Circularly polarized light (CPL) exerts a force of different magnitude on left- and right-handed enantiomers, an effect that could be exploited for chiral resolution of chemical compounds as well as controlled assembly of chiral nanostructures. However, enantioselective optical forces are challenging to control and quantify because their magnitude is extremely small (sub-piconewton) and varies in space with sub-micrometre resolution. Here, we report a technique to both strengthen and visualize these forces, using a chiral atomic force microscope probe coupled to a plasmonic optical tweezer. Illumination of the plasmonic tweezer with CPL exerts a force on the microscope tip that depends on the handedness of the light and the tip. In particular, for a left-handed chiral tip, transverse forces are attractive with left-CPL and repulsive with right-CPL. Additionally, total force differences between opposite-handed specimens exceed 10 pN. The microscope tip can map chiral forces with 2 nm lateral resolution, revealing a distinct spatial distribution of forces for each handedness.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nnano.2017.180

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5679370

  • Grating-flanked plasmonic coaxial apertures for efficient fiber optical tweezers. Optics express Saleh, A. A., Sheikhoelislami, S., Gastelum, S., Dionne, J. A. 2016; 24 (18): 20593-20603


    Subwavelength plasmonic apertures have been foundational for direct optical manipulation of nanoscale specimens including sub-100 nm polymeric beads, metallic nanoparticles and proteins. While most plasmonic traps result in two-dimensional localization, three-dimensional manipulation has been demonstrated by integrating a plasmonic aperture on an optical fiber tip. However, such 3D traps are usually inefficient since the optical mode of the fiber and the subwavelength aperture only weakly couple. In this paper we design more efficient optical-fiber-based plasmonic tweezers combining a coaxial plasmonic aperture with a plasmonic grating coupler at the fiber tip facet. Using full-field finite difference time domain analysis, we optimize the grating design for both gold and silver fiber-based coaxial tweezers such that the optical transmission through the apertures is maximized. With the optimized grating, we show that the maximum transmission efficiency increases from 2.5% to 19.6% and from 1.48% to 16.7% for the gold and silver structures respectively. To evaluate their performance as optical tweezers, we calculate the optical forces and the corresponding trapping potential on dielectric particles interacting with the apertures. We demonstrate that the enahncement in the transmission translates into an equivalent increase in the optical forces. Consequently, the optical power required to achieve stable optical trapping is significantly reduced allowing for efficient localization and 3D manipulation of sub-30 nm dielectric particles.

    View details for DOI 10.1364/OE.24.020593

    View details for PubMedID 27607663

  • Enantioselective Optical Trapping of Chiral Nanoparticles with Plasmonic Tweezers ACS PHOTONICS Zhao, Y., Saleh, A. A., Dionne, J. A. 2016; 3 (3): 304-309
  • Toward Efficient Optical Trapping of Sub-10-nm Particles with Coaxial Plasmonic Apertures NANO LETTERS Saleh, A. A., Dionne, J. A. 2012; 12 (11): 5581-5586


    Optical trapping using focused laser beams has emerged as a powerful tool in the biological and physical sciences. However, scaling this technique to nanosized objects remains challenging due to the diffraction limit of light and the high power levels required for nanoscale trapping. In this paper, we propose plasmonic coaxial apertures as low-power optical traps for nanosized specimens. The illumination of a coaxial aperture with a linearly polarized plane wave generates a dual optical trapping potential well. We theoretically show that this potential can stably trap dielectric particles smaller than 10 nm in diameter while keeping the trapping power level below 20 mW. By tapering the thickness of the coaxial dielectric channel, trapping can be extended to sub-2-nm particles. The proposed structures may enable optical trapping and manipulation of dielectric particles ranging from single proteins to small molecules with sizes previously inaccessible.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/nl302627c

    View details for Web of Science ID 000311244400023

    View details for PubMedID 23035765

  • Waveguides with a silver lining: Low threshold gain and giant modal gain in active cylindrical and coaxial plasmonic devices PHYSICAL REVIEW B Saleh, A. A., Dionne, J. A. 2012; 85 (4)