Controlled rotation of optically trapped microscopic particles

L. Paterson, M. P. MacDonald, J. Arlt, W. Sibbett, P. E. Bryant, K. Dholakia

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    737 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    We demonstrate controlled rotation of optically trapped objects in a spiral interference pattern. This pattern is generated by interfering an annular shaped laser beam with a reference beam. Objects are trapped in the spiral arms of the pattern. Changing the optical path length causes this pattern, and thus the trapped objects, to rotate. Structures of silica microspheres, microscopic glass rods, and chromosomes are set into rotation at rates in excess of 5 hertz. This technique does not depend on intrinsic properties of the trapped particle and thus offers important applications in optical and biological micromachines.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)912-914
    Number of pages3
    JournalScience
    Volume292
    Issue number5518
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - May 2001

    Keywords

    • Optical rotation
    • Micromanipulation
    • Optical tweezers
    • Lasers and laser optics

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