Direct observation of the transfer of orbital angular momentum to metal particles from a focused circularly polarized Gaussian beam

Yiqiong Zhao, David Shapiro, David Mcgloin, Daniel T. Chiu, Stefano Marchesini

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    It is well known that a circularly polarized Gaussian beam carries spin angular momentum, but not orbital angular momentum. This paper demonstrates that focusing a beam carrying spin angular momentum can induce an orbital angular momentum which we used to drive the orbital motion of a micron-sized metal particle that is trapped off the beam axis. The direction of the orbital motion is controlled by the handedness of the circular polarization. The orbiting dynamics of the trapped particle, which acted as an optical micro-detector, were quantitatively measured and found to be in excellent agreement with the theoretical predictions. (C) 2009 Optical Society of America

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)23316-23322
    Number of pages7
    JournalOptics Express
    Issue number25
    Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2009


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