We present an experimental and theoretical study of long distance optical binding effects acting upon micro-particles placed in a standing wave optical field. In particular we present for the first time quantitatively the binding forces between individual particles for varying inter-particle separations, polarizations and incident angles of the binding beam. Our quantitative experimental data and numerical simulations show that these effects are essentially enhanced due to the presence of a reflective surface in a sample chamber. They also reveal conditions to form stable optically bound clusters of two and three particles in this geometry. We also show that the inter-particle separation in the formed clusters can be controlled by altering the angle of the beam incident upon the sample plane. This demonstrates new perspectives for the generation and control of optically bound soft matter and may be useful to understand various inter-particle effects in the presence of reflective surfaces.
- DISCRETE-DIPOLE APPROXIMATION