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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 16, Iss. 18 — Sep. 1, 2008
  • pp: 13831–13844

Optical trapping of coated microspheres

Volker Bormuth, Anita Jannasch, Marcel Ander, Carlos M. van Kats, Alfons van Blaaderen, Jonathon Howard, and Erik Schäffer  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 16, Issue 18, pp. 13831-13844 (2008)

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In an optical trap, micron-sized dielectric particles are held by a tightly focused laser beam. The optical force on the particle is composed of an attractive gradient force and a destabilizing scattering force. We hypothesized that using anti-reflection-coated microspheres would reduce scattering and lead to stronger trapping. We found that homogeneous silica and polystyrene microspheres had a sharp maximum trap stiffness at a diameter of around 800 nm—the trapping laser wavelength in water—and that a silica coating on a polystyrene microsphere was a substantial improvement for larger diameters. In addition, we noticed that homogeneous spheres of a correct size demonstrated anti-reflective properties. Our results quantitatively agreed with Mie scattering calculations and serve as a proof of principle. We used a DNA stretching experiment to confirm the large linear range in detection and force of the coated microspheres and performed a high-force motor protein assay. These measurements show that the surfaces of the coated microspheres are compatible with biophysical assays.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.5820) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Scattering measurements
(140.7010) Lasers and laser optics : Laser trapping
(260.3160) Physical optics : Interference
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization
(290.4020) Scattering : Mie theory
(160.2710) Materials : Inhomogeneous optical media

ToC Category:
Optical Trapping and Manipulation

Original Manuscript: May 27, 2008
Revised Manuscript: July 24, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: August 3, 2008
Published: August 22, 2008

Virtual Issues
Vol. 3, Iss. 11 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Volker Bormuth, Anita Jannasch, Marcel Ander, Carlos M. van Kats, Alfons van Blaaderen, Jonathon Howard, and Erik Schäffer, "Optical trapping of coated microspheres," Opt. Express 16, 13831-13844 (2008)

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