We present the use of optical fibers to form a counter-propagating optical trap as a means of manipulating both solid and liquid aerosols. We explore the use of single and multimode fibers to achieve trapping of various particles in air, present the trapping properties of the different fiber types and compare the observed trends to those predicted by theory. Using fibers, we are able to hold suspended particles for extended periods of time and to precisely manipulate them over distances of several hundred microns. We discuss the difficulties and advantages of each fiber configuration and conclude with a demonstration that fiber based trapping offers a good candidate for studying optical binding in air. (c) 2008 Optical Society of America.
- MICROSCOPIC PARTICLES