OSA's Digital Library

Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 15, Iss. 20 — Oct. 1, 2007
  • pp: 12619–12626

The resolution of optical traps created by Light Induced Dielectrophoresis (LIDEP)

S. L. Neale, M. Mazilu, J. I. B. Wilson, K. Dholakia, and T. F. Krauss  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 15, Issue 20, pp. 12619-12626 (2007)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (1054 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



Light induced dielectrophoresis (LIDEP) is a variant of the dielectrophoresis (DEP) mechanism that has been used for some time to manipulate particles in a microfluidic environment. Rather than relying on lithographically created contacts to generate the required electrical fields, the electrical contacts in LIDEP are created through the selective illumination of a photoconductor. The key question we address is how microscopic traps created via LIDEP compare to optical traps based on the gradient force, in terms of power required and trap stiffness achieved, as well as the size resolution of such a trap. We highlight the complex interplay between optical power and resolution with electrical parameters, such as the electrical resistance and applied AC Voltage. We show that for a spotsize of five micrometres and larger, particles can indeed be trapped with low power. We use trap stiffness per mW to compare LIDEP with an optical trap and show that our system is 470± 94 times stiffer per mW than a conventional optical trap, with no loss of resolution. We also discuss the difficulties of achieving trapping at smaller spot sizes, and that the sub-micron resolution possible with gradient force trapping is very difficult to realise with LIDEP.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(140.7010) Lasers and laser optics : Laser trapping
(250.0250) Optoelectronics : Optoelectronics

ToC Category:

Original Manuscript: July 19, 2007
Revised Manuscript: September 11, 2007
Manuscript Accepted: September 11, 2007
Published: September 17, 2007

Virtual Issues
Vol. 2, Iss. 11 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

S. L. Neale, M. Mazilu, J. I. B. Wilson, K. Dholakia, and T. F. Krauss, "The resolution of optical traps created by Light Induced Dielectrophoresis (LIDEP)," Opt. Express 15, 12619-12626 (2007)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. H. A. Pohl, Dielectrophoresis (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1978).
  2. P. Y. Chiou, A. T. Ohta and M. C. Wu, "Massively parallel Manipulation of single cells and microparticles using optical images," Nature 436, 370-372 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. P. Y. Chiou, A. T. Ohta and M. C. Wu, "Toward all optical lab-on-a-chip system: optical manipulation of both microfluid and microscopic particles," Proc. SPIE 5514, 73-81 (2004). [CrossRef]
  4. A. T. Ohta, P. Y. Chiou and M. C. Wu, "Optically-controlled manipulation of live cells using optoelectronic t tweezers," Proc. SPIE 6326, 632617 (2006). [CrossRef]
  5. K. Dholakia and P Reece, "Optical micromanipulation takes hold," Nano Today 1, 18 (2006). [CrossRef]
  6. A. T. Ohta, P. Y. Chiou, H. L. Phan, S. W. Sherwood, J. M. Yang, A. N. K. Lau, H. Y. Hsu, A. Jamshidi, and M. C. Wu, "Optically controlled cell discrimination and trapping using Optoelectronic Tweezers," IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 13, 235-243 (2007). [CrossRef]
  7. Y. S. Lu, Y. P. Huang, J. A. Yeh, C. Lee and Y. H. Chang, "Controllability of non-contact manipulation by image dielectrophoresis," Opt. Quantum Electron. 37, 1385-1395 (2005). [CrossRef]
  8. K. Svoboda and S. M. Block, "Biological applications of optical forces," Annu. Rev. Biophys. Biomol. Struct. 23, 247-285 (1994). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  9. M. P. Hughes, Nanoelectromechanics in Engineering and Biology, (CRC Press, 2003).
  10. Particle trapping software developed by Graham Milne based on the pattern matching capabilities built into LabVIEW.

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.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited