In trying to manipulate the intensity distribution of a focused field, one typically uses amplitude or phase masks. Here we explore an approach, namely, varying the state of spatial coherence of the incident field. We experimentally demonstrate that the focusing of a Bessel-correlated beam produces an intensity minimum at the geometric focus rather than a maximum. By varying the spatial coherence width of the field, which can be achieved by merely changing the size of an iris, it is possible to change this minimum into a maximum in a continuous manner. This method can be used, for example, in novel optical trapping schemes, to selectively manipulate particles with either a low or high index of refraction.
© 2010 Optical Society of America
Coherence and Statistical Optics
Original Manuscript: October 8, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: November 10, 2010
Published: December 13, 2010
Shreyas B. Raghunathan, Thomas van Dijk, Erwin J. G. Peterman, and Taco D. Visser, "Experimental demonstration of an intensity minimum at the focus of a laser beam created by spatial coherence: application to the optical trapping of dielectric particles," Opt. Lett. 35, 4166-4168 (2010)