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This technology comprises a composite nano-particle, a monitoring system to track particles, and a method for controlling the motion of particles. The composite particle consists of a main body and two sides. The main body is a polystyrene particle and the two sides are made of gold and titanium nitride. The monitoring system takes real-time video of the particle’s motion, analyzing direction and distance to the particle’s target location.

The motion control method for this technology is based around an induced thermal gradient in the composite nano-particle. A light source with a constant wavelength illuminates the composite nano-particles and causes a thermophoretic drift along the direction from one side of the particle to the other. Additional thermophoretic effects can be created along the particle by shining more lights with different wavelengths at the particle. Asymmetric absorption of light at different wavelengths results in a tunable system for multi-directional propulsion of the composite nano-particles.