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Proceedings Paper

Optical torque and symmetry
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Paper Abstract

The ability to controllably rotate, align, or freely spin microparticles in optical tweezers greatly enhances the manipulation possible. A variety of different techniques for achieving alignment or rotation have been suggested and demonstrated. Although these methods are diverse, employing specially shaped particles, birefringent particles, multiple trapping beams, complex beam profiles, vortex modes, plane polarised beams, circularly polarised beams, or other methods, the fundamental principle - that optical torque results from the exchange of electromagnetic angular momentum between the trapping beam and the particle - remains the same. The symmetry of both the particle and the beam play a central role in the transfer of angular momentum. We discuss this in detail, with particular attention paid to the special case of optical torque exerted by an incident beam with zero angular momentum.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 October 2004
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 5514, Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation, (18 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.557070
Show Author Affiliations
Timo A. Nieminen, The Univ. of Queensland (Australia)
Simon John Wyatt Parkin, The Univ. of Queensland (Australia)
Norman Richard Heckenberg, The Univ. of Queensland (Australia)
Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop, The Univ. of Queensland (Australia)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5514:
Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation
Kishan Dholakia; Gabriel C. Spalding, Editor(s)

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