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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 17, Iss. 19 — Sep. 14, 2009
  • pp: 17190–17199

Optical tweezers with millikelvin precision of temperature-controlled objectives and base-pair resolution

Mohammed Mahamdeh and Erik Schäffer  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 17, Issue 19, pp. 17190-17199 (2009)

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In optical tweezers, thermal drift is detrimental for high-resolution measurements. In particular, absorption of the trapping laser light by the microscope objective that focuses the beam leads to heating of the objective and subsequent drift. This entails long equilibration times which may limit sensitive biophysical assays. Here, we introduce an objective temperature feedback system for minimizing thermal drift. We measured that the infrared laser heated the objective by 0.7K per watt of laser power and that the laser focus moved relative to the sample by ≈1 nm/mK due to thermal expansion of the objective. The feedback stabilized the temperature of the trapping objective with millikelvin precision. This enhanced the long-term temperature stability and significantly reduced the settling time of the instrument to about 100 s after a temperature disturbance while preserving single DNA base-pair resolution of surface-coupled assays. Minimizing systematic temperature changes of the objective and concurrent drift is of interest for other high-resolution microscopy techniques. Furthermore, temperature control is often a desirable parameter in biophysical experiments.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(000.2170) General : Equipment and techniques
(120.6780) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Temperature
(140.6810) Lasers and laser optics : Thermal effects
(140.7010) Lasers and laser optics : Laser trapping
(170.0180) Medical optics and biotechnology : Microscopy
(350.4855) Other areas of optics : Optical tweezers or optical manipulation

ToC Category:
Optical Trapping and Manipulation

Original Manuscript: July 9, 2009
Revised Manuscript: August 14, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: August 17, 2009
Published: September 11, 2009

Virtual Issues
Vol. 4, Iss. 11 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Mohammed Mahamdeh and Erik Schäffer, "Optical tweezers with millikelvin precision of temperature-controlled objectives and base-pair resolution," Opt. Express 17, 17190-17199 (2009)

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