We demonstrate, what is to the best of our knowledge, a new method for studying the motion of a particle trapped by optical tweezers; in this method the trapping beam itself is used as a confocal probe. By studying the response of the particle to periodic motion of the tweezers, we obtain information about the medium viscosity, particle properties, and trap stiffness. We develop the mathematical model, demonstrate experimentally its validity for our system, and discuss advantages of using this method as a new form of scanning photonic force microscopy for applications in which a high spatial and temporal resolution of the medium viscosity is desired.
© 2003 Optical Society of America
(140.7010) Lasers and laser optics : Laser trapping
(170.3880) Medical optics and biotechnology : Medical and biological imaging
(180.1790) Microscopy : Confocal microscopy
(180.5810) Microscopy : Scanning microscopy
Boaz A. Nemet and Mark Cronin-Golomb, "Measuring Microscopic Viscosity with Optical Tweezers as a Confocal Probe," Appl. Opt. 42, 1820-1832 (2003)