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Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics


  • Editor: Gregory W. Faris
  • Vol. 3, Iss. 6 — Jun. 17, 2008

Continuously rotating chiral liquid crystal droplets in a linearly polarized laser trap

Y. Yang, P. D. Brimicombe, N. W. Roberts, M. R. Dickinson, M. Osipov, and H. F. Gleeson  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 16, Issue 10, pp. 6877-6882 (2008)

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The transfer of optical angular momentum to birefringent particles via circularly polarized light is common. We report here on the unexpected, continuous rotation of chiral nematic liquid crystal droplets in a linearly polarized optical trap. The rotation is non-uniform, occurs over a timescale of seconds, and is observed only for very specific droplet sizes. Synchronized vertical motion of the droplet occurs during the rotation. The motion is the result of photo-induced molecular reorganization, providing a micron sized opto-mechanical transducer that twists and translates.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(160.3710) Materials : Liquid crystals
(160.1585) Materials : Chiral media
(350.4855) Other areas of optics : Optical tweezers or optical manipulation

ToC Category:
Optical Trapping and Manipulation

Original Manuscript: March 18, 2008
Revised Manuscript: April 23, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: April 25, 2008
Published: April 29, 2008

Virtual Issues
Vol. 3, Iss. 6 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Y. Yang, P. D. Brimicombe, N. W. Roberts, M. R. Dickinson, M. Osipov, and H. F. Gleeson, "Continuously rotating chiral liquid crystal droplets in a linearly polarized laser trap," Opt. Express 16, 6877-6882 (2008)

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