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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 20, Iss. 4 — Feb. 13, 2012
  • pp: 3787–3802

Calibration of the optical torque wrench

Francesco Pedaci, Zhuangxiong Huang, Maarten van Oene, and Nynke H. Dekker  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 20, Issue 4, pp. 3787-3802 (2012)

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The optical torque wrench is a laser trapping technique that expands the capability of standard optical tweezers to torque manipulation and measurement, using the laser linear polarization to orient tailored microscopic birefringent particles. The ability to measure torque of the order of kBT (∼4 pN nm) is especially important in the study of biophysical systems at the molecular and cellular level. Quantitative torque measurements rely on an accurate calibration of the instrument. Here we describe and implement a set of calibration approaches for the optical torque wrench, including methods that have direct analogs in linear optical tweezers as well as introducing others that are specifically developed for the angular variables. We compare the different methods, analyze their differences, and make recommendations regarding their implementations.

© 2012 OSA

OCIS Codes
(200.4880) Optics in computing : Optomechanics
(350.4855) Other areas of optics : Optical tweezers or optical manipulation

ToC Category:
Optical Trapping and Manipulation

Original Manuscript: September 30, 2011
Revised Manuscript: December 15, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: December 15, 2011
Published: February 1, 2012

Virtual Issues
Vol. 7, Iss. 4 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Francesco Pedaci, Zhuangxiong Huang, Maarten van Oene, and Nynke H. Dekker, "Calibration of the optical torque wrench," Opt. Express 20, 3787-3802 (2012)

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