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Proceedings Paper

Building optical matter with binding and trapping forces
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Paper Abstract

Very high frequency oscillations of intense light fields interact with micron-size dielectric objects to exert dc optical forces that allow polarizable particles to levitate, to be trapped and to be bound. Such optical forces are also suitable to arrange cold atoms in optical lattices. Various assemblages of optical traps, including periodic arrays, can be constructed either with independent lasers, or with a single laser beam split into different parts later recombined by interference, as well as through the use of diffractive elements. These optical-well arrays serve as templates for writing and erasing dynamic two-dimensional and three-dimensional "optical crystals", composed of mono-dispersed polystyrene spheres in water. Subsequently, the crystals become diffractive structures themselves. The association of micro-fluidics and optical trapping allows for the formation of optical traps into micro-channels. This leads to perform microchemistry experiments, such as fluorescence detection, on individual bodies attached to trapped particles. Self-trapping due to the optical binding force relates to the interaction between different dielectric objects located in an electromagnetic field; each one reacts not only to the field of the incident beam, but also to the induced fields radiated coherently by all other particles. Optical binding strongly influences the equilibrium state and the behavior of optical crystals. It must have the potential for creating collective effects.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 October 2004
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5514, Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation, (18 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.561047
Show Author Affiliations
Jean-Marc R. Fournier, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Switzerland)
Gerben Boer, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Switzerland)
Guy Delacretaz, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Switzerland)
Pierre M. Jacquot, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Switzerland)
Johann Rohner, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Switzerland)
Rene Paul Salathe, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Switzerland)


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

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