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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 19, Iss. 19 — Sep. 12, 2011
  • pp: 18543–18557

Tailored optical force fields using evolutionary algorithms

Colin C. Olson, Ross T. Schermer, and Frank Bucholtz  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 19, Issue 19, pp. 18543-18557 (2011)

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We introduce a method whereby the electromagnetic field that governs the force on a Rayleigh particle can be tailored such that the resultant force field conforms to a desired geometry. The electromagnetic field is expanded as a set of vector spherical wavefunctions (VSWFs) that describe the field over all space. Given the incident field, the resultant force on a given Rayleigh particle can be calculated throughout a volume of interest. We use an evolutionary algorithm (EA) to search the space of coefficients governing the VSWFs for those that produce the desired force field. We demonstrate how Maxwell’s equations will support an “optical tunnel” that guides particles to a trap location while at the same time preventing particles outside the tunnel from approaching the trap. This result is of interest because the field is impressed throughout the domain; that is to say, once the field is generated, no additional control is required to guide the particles.

© 2011 OSA

OCIS Codes
(140.3300) Lasers and laser optics : Laser beam shaping
(140.7010) Lasers and laser optics : Laser trapping
(170.4520) Medical optics and biotechnology : Optical confinement and manipulation

ToC Category:
Optical Trapping and Manipulation

Original Manuscript: May 23, 2011
Revised Manuscript: July 19, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: July 19, 2011
Published: September 8, 2011

Virtual Issues
Vol. 6, Iss. 10 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Colin C. Olson, Ross T. Schermer, and Frank Bucholtz, "Tailored optical force fields using evolutionary algorithms," Opt. Express 19, 18543-18557 (2011)

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