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Optics Letters

| RAPID, SHORT PUBLICATIONS ON THE LATEST IN OPTICAL DISCOVERIES

  • Editor: Alan E. Willner
  • Vol. 34, Iss. 2 — Jan. 15, 2009
  • pp: 139–141

Constant power optical tweezers with controllable torque

Maren Funk, Simon J. Parkin, Alexander B. Stilgoe, Timo A. Nieminen, Norman R. Heckenberg, and Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Letters, Vol. 34, Issue 2, pp. 139-141 (2009)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OL.34.000139


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Abstract

We describe a means for controlling the spin angular-momentum flux of a laser beam at constant power, without introducing any elliptical or linear polarization. This allows a controllable torque, acting to spin the particle uniformly, to be exerted on a birefringent particle in optical tweezers. The constant power means that transverse and axial trapping, and heating due to absorption, are unaffected by changing the torque. The torque can be computer controlled and rapidly changed. In addition, the lateral trapping is kept constant. Very low torques can be obtained such that rotational Brownian motion of birefringent particles can be observed. This has the potential to greatly extend the quantitative applications of the rotation of birefringent objects in optical tweezers.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(140.7010) Lasers and laser optics : Laser trapping
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization
(140.3298) Lasers and laser optics : Laser beam combining
(350.4855) Other areas of optics : Optical tweezers or optical manipulation

ToC Category:
Lasers and Laser Optics

History
Original Manuscript: October 14, 2008
Revised Manuscript: November 12, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: November 24, 2008
Published: January 12, 2009

Virtual Issues
Vol. 4, Iss. 3 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Citation
Maren Funk, Simon J. Parkin, Alexander B. Stilgoe, Timo A. Nieminen, Norman R. Heckenberg, and Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop, "Constant power optical tweezers with controllable torque," Opt. Lett. 34, 139-141 (2009)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/ol/abstract.cfm?URI=ol-34-2-139


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