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Journal of the Optical Society of America B

Journal of the Optical Society of America B


  • Editor: G. I. Stegeman
  • Vol. 23, Iss. 9 — Sep. 1, 2006
  • pp: 1801–1814

Explicit computation of gradient and nongradient contributions to optical forces in the discrete-dipole approximation

Vance Wong and Mark A. Ratner  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA B, Vol. 23, Issue 9, pp. 1801-1814 (2006)

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We present an efficient, discrete-dipole-approximation-based method for computing gradient and nongradient contributions to the optically induced force on neutral, polarizable particles in a field. We compare numerical data from this method with those generated using previously devised computational approaches for computing total forces. The agreement is generally adequate, and rounding error is the likely cause for differences among results obtained from the three methods. For both one- and two-sphere targets, nongradient forces generally make a nonnegligible contribution. For spheres, the gradient force often nearly cancels a component of the nongradient force, so that the radiation-pressure component is approximately equal to the net force. These results are contrary to the commonly assumed dominance of the gradient force for nanometer-sized particles.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(020.7010) Atomic and molecular physics : Laser trapping
(240.0240) Optics at surfaces : Optics at surfaces
(260.3910) Physical optics : Metal optics

ToC Category:
Physical Optics

Original Manuscript: October 7, 2005
Revised Manuscript: December 8, 2005
Manuscript Accepted: April 18, 2006

Vance Wong and Mark A. Ratner, "Explicit computation of gradient and nongradient contributions to optical forces in the discrete-dipole approximation," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 23, 1801-1814 (2006)

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