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Modeling of optical traps for aerosols

Modeling of optical traps for aerosols

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2856-2864
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Optical Society of America B - Optical Physics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2011


Experimental observations suggest that there are differences between the behavior of particles optically trapped in air and trapped in a liquid phase. We have modified the Mie-Debye spherical aberration theory to numerically simulate an aerosol optical trap in an attempt to explain and predict the differences. The model incorporates Mie scattering and a trapping beam focused through media of stratified refractive index. We show that geometrical optics cannot correctly describe the aerosol optical trap and that spherical aberration must be included. We qualitatively explain the observed phenomena before discussing the limits of the experimental techniques and methods to improve it. We conclude that the system does not behave as a true "optical tweezers," varying between levitation and single beam gradient force trapping, depending on particle and beam parameters. (C) 2011 Optical Society of America


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