Colloidal holography and crystal dislocations

Michael P. MacDonald, Paul Prentice, Kishan Dholakia

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The analogous nature of dislocations in crystals and light leads to some interesting links between the properties of optical and crystal dislocations 1. A dislocation in a crystal can be described by a Burgers vector b, whilst a dislocation in a laser mode such as the vortex in a Laguerre Gaussian beam, can be described by a topological charge l 2. By illuminating both optically trapped and self-assembled two-dimensional colloidal crystals with a Gaussian laser beam, we show a direct link between crystal and light dislocations, where the first order diffraction pattern from a crystal with Burgers' vector b = na contains vortex laser modes of topological charge l = ±mn, (where n is an integer, a is the lattice constant of the crystal and m is an integer corresponding to the diffraction order).

Original languageEnglish
Article number593017
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2005
EventOptical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation II - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: 31 Jul 20054 Aug 2005


  • Colloid
  • Crystal Dislocations
  • Diffraction
  • Optical Trapping
  • Optical Vortices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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