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Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics


  • Editors: Andrew Dunn and Anthony Durkin
  • Vol. 8, Iss. 7 — Aug. 1, 2013

Theory of microdroplet and microbubble deformation by Gaussian laser beam

Simen Å. Ellingsen  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA B, Vol. 30, Issue 6, pp. 1694-1710 (2013)

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The theory for linear deformations of fluid microparticles in a laser beam of Gaussian profile is presented, when the beam focus is at the particle center as in optical trapping. Three different fluid systems are considered: water microdroplet in air, air microbubble in water, and a special oil-emulsion in water system used in experiments with optical deformation of fluid interfaces. We compare interface deformations of the three systems when illuminated by wide (compared to particle radius) and narrow laser beams and analyze differences. Deformations of droplets are radically different from bubbles under otherwise identical conditions, due to the opposite lensing effect (converging and diverging, respectively) of the two; a droplet is deformed far more than a bubble, cetera paribus. Optical contrast is found to be of great importance to the shape obtained when comparing the relatively low-contrast oil-emulsion system to that of water droplets. We finally analyze the dynamics of particle motion when the laser beam is turned on, and compare a static beam to the case of a short pulse. The very different surface tension coefficient implies a very different time scale for dynamics: microseconds for the water–air interface and tens of milliseconds for the oil-emulsion. Surface oscillations of a water microdroplet are found always to be underdamped, while those of the oil-emulsion are overdamped; deformations of a microbubble can be either, depending on physical parameters.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(240.0240) Optics at surfaces : Optics at surfaces
(260.2110) Physical optics : Electromagnetic optics
(350.4855) Other areas of optics : Optical tweezers or optical manipulation
(240.6648) Optics at surfaces : Surface dynamics

ToC Category:
Optics at Surfaces

Original Manuscript: December 12, 2012
Revised Manuscript: February 20, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: April 19, 2013
Published: May 30, 2013

Virtual Issues
Vol. 8, Iss. 7 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Simen Å. Ellingsen, "Theory of microdroplet and microbubble deformation by Gaussian laser beam," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 30, 1694-1710 (2013)

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