Two kinds of pulsed light sources were used in the experiments. One is a SuperK COMPACT supercontinuum laser (bandwidth, 450 to 2400 nm; pulse duration, 2.6 ns; repetition rate adjustable from 0.001 to 20 kHz; unpolarized). The other is a fixed-wavelength, Yb-doped, gain-switched fiber laser (wavelength, 1064 nm; pulse duration, 5 ns; repetition rate, 20 kHz; unpolarized). The synthesized gold plates were deposited on the glass substrate and then dried. A tapered fiber probe, which was manipulated by the three-dimensional console, was used to pick up a gold plate (fig. S1A) and to transfer the plate to a microfiber (fig. S1B). After experiments of light-actuated rotation, the gold plate was taken away from the microfiber to the substrate, as shown in fig. S1D for later experiments such as characterizations with SEM or atomic force microscopy (AFM). The experiments were first performed in air. An optical microscope was used for observation. The experiments were also performed in vacuum. In this case, the plate-microfiber system was put into the SEM chamber and the microfiber was connected to laser sources (outside the chamber) by an optical fiber through a vacuum connector, as shown in fig. S2.

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