Orbital-angular-momentum transfer to optically levitated microparticles in vacuum

Michael Mazilu, Yoshihiko Arita, Tom Vettenburg, Juan M. Auñón, Ewan M. Wright, Kishan Dholakia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
140 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

We demonstrate the transfer of orbital angular momentum to an optically levitated microparticle in vacuum. The microparticle is placed within a Laguerre-Gaussian beam and orbits the annular beam profile with increasing angular velocity as the air drag coefficient is reduced. We explore the particle dynamics as a function of the topological charge of the levitating beam. Our results reveal that there is a fundamental limit to the orbital angular momentum that may be transferred to a trapped particle, dependent upon the beam parameters and inertial forces present.

Original languageEnglish
Article number053821
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review A
Volume94
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2016

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