OSA's Digital Library

Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Michael Duncan
  • Vol. 13, Iss. 5 — Mar. 7, 2005
  • pp: 1621–1627

Observation of asymmetrically dynamic motion of single colloidal particles in a polarized optical trap

Changan Xie, Mumtaz A. Dinno, and Yong-qing Li  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 13, Issue 5, pp. 1621-1627 (2005)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (7900 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



In this study we report on the dynamic motion of a nano-sized colloidal particle captured in a polarized optical trap. A polystyrene sphere (300nm-diameter) that is electrically charged in solution was trapped with an optical tweezers formed by a linearly polarized TEM00 Gaussian beam, while the Brownian displacements of the trapped particle in x and y directions were measured so that the position of the particle’s mass center can be mapped on the transverse plane and the corss-correlation between x and y displacements can be calculated. We found that the position’s fluctuation of the trapped nano-sized particle in the parallel direction to the laser polarization is significantly larger than that in the normal direction, which suggests that there exists an additional random electric force parallel to the laser polarization direction exerting on the charged particle beside the known radiation forces on the dielectric particle. This asymmetry in dynamic motion is significant when the particle size is well less than the wavelength of the trapping laser. However, in an optical trap formed by a circularly polarized beam, this asymmetry in dynamic motion was observed to disappear. We present both the experimental results and a theoretical analysis.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.5820) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Scattering measurements
(140.7010) Lasers and laser optics : Laser trapping

ToC Category:
Research Papers

Original Manuscript: February 2, 2005
Revised Manuscript: February 18, 2005
Published: March 7, 2005

Changan Xie, Mumtaz A. Dinno, and Yong-qing Li, "Observation of asymmetrically dynamic motion of single colloidal particles in a polarized optical trap," Opt. Express 13, 1621-1627 (2005)

Sort:  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. A. Ashkin, J.M. Dziedzic, J.E. Bjorkholm, and S. Chu, �??Observation of a single-beam gradient force optical trap for dielectric particles,�?? Opt. Lett. 11, 288-290 (1986). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  2. T. Weber, J. Herbig, M. Mark, H. C. Nagerl, and R. Grimm, �??Bose-Einstein condensation of cesium,�?? Science 299, 232-235 (2003). [CrossRef]
  3. K. Svoboda and S.M. Block, �??Biological applications of optical forces,�?? Annu. Rev. Biophys. Biomol. Struc. 23, 247-284 (1994). [CrossRef]
  4. K. C. Neuman, and S. M. Block, �??Optical trapping,�?? Rev. Sci. Instrum. 75, 2787-2809(2004). [CrossRef]
  5. 5. A. D. Mehta; M. Rief, J. A. Spudich; D. A. Smith, and R. M. Simmons, �??Single-Molecule Biomechanics with Optical Methods,�?? Science 283, 1689-1695 (1999). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. D. G. Grier, �??A revolution in optical manipulation,�?? Nature 424, 810-816 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. B. Onoa, S. Dumont, J. Liphardt, S. B. Smith, I. Tinoco Jr, C. Bustamante, �??Identifying kinetic barriers to mechanical unfolding of the T. thermophila ribozyme,�?? Science 299, 1892-1895 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. R. Bar-Ziv, A. Meller, T. Tlusty, E. Moses, J. Stavans, and S.A. Safran, �??Localized dynamic light scattering: probing single particle dynamics at the nanoscale,�?? Phys. Rev. Lett. 78, 154-157 (1997). [CrossRef]
  9. Y.Q. Li, C. Christou, X.H. Hu, M. Dinno, "Quasi-elastic light scattering of laser trapped biological particles," Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, 2000, San Franscisco, CA, p620.
  10. J. Meiners and S.R. Quake, �??Direct measurement of hydrodynamic cross correlations between two particles in an external potential,�?? Phys. Rev. Lett. 82, 2211-2214 (1999). [CrossRef]
  11. J. Meiners and S.R. Quake, �??femtonewton force spectroscopy of single extended DNA molecules,�?? Phys. Rev. Lett. 84, 5014-5017 (2000). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  12. K. Visscher, M.J. Schnitzer, and S.M. Block, �??Single kinesin molecules studied with a molecular force clamp,�?? Nature 400, 184-189 (1999). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  13. J. Guck, R. Ananthakrishnan, T.J. Moon, C.C. Cunningham, and J. Kas, �??Optical Deformability of Soft Biological Dielectrics,�?? Phys. Rev. Lett. 84, 5451-5454 (2000). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  14. C. Xie, M. A. Dinno, Y.Q. Li, �??Near-infrared Raman spectroscopy of single optically trapped biological cells,�?? Opt. Lett. 27,249-251(2002). [CrossRef]
  15. T. G.M. Van De Ven, Colloidal Hydrodynamics, p.78, Academic Press, London, 1989.
  16. G. M. Keppler and S. Fradem, �??Attractive potential between confined colloids at low ionic strength,�?? Phys. Rev. Lett. 73, 356-359 (1994). [CrossRef]
  17. J.C. Crocker and D.G. Grier, �??Microscopic measurement of the pair interaction potential of charge-stabilized colloid,�?? Phys. Rev. Lett. 73, 352-355 (1994). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.


Fig. 1. Fig. 2. Fig. 3.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited