We demonstrate the use of a phase-only liquid-crystal spatial light modulator (SLM) for polarization-controlled rotation and alignment of an array of optically trapped birefringent particles. A collimated beam incident upon a two-dimensional lenslet array yields multiple foci, scaled to produce optical gradient traps with efficient three-dimensional trapping potentials. The state of polarization of each trapping beam is encoded by the SLM, which acts as a matrix of wave plates with computer-controlled phase retardations. Control of the rotation frequency and alignment direction of the particles is achieved by the transfer of tunable photon spin angular momentum.
© 2003 Optical Society of America
(140.7010) Lasers and laser optics : Laser trapping
(170.4520) Medical optics and biotechnology : Optical confinement and manipulation
(230.5440) Optical devices : Polarization-selective devices
(230.6120) Optical devices : Spatial light modulators
(260.1440) Physical optics : Birefringence
René L. Eriksen, Peter J. Rodrigo, Vincent R. Daria, and Jesper Glückstad, "Spatial Light Modulator–Controlled Alignment and Spinning of Birefringent Particles Optically Trapped in an Array," Appl. Opt. 42, 5107-5111 (2003)