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Proceedings Paper

An optical trap based on conical refraction of light
Author(s): David P. O'Dwyer; Ciaran F. Phelan; Kyle E. Ballantine; Y. P. Rakovich; James G. Lunney; John F. Donegan
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Paper Abstract

Conical refraction produces the well-known ring profile when circularly polarised light is incident on a biaxial crystal. Conical diffraction of linearly polarised light in a biaxial crystal produces a beam with a crescent-shaped intensity profile. Rotation of the plane of polarisation of the incident light produces the unique effect of spatially moving the crescent-shaped beam around a ring. We use this effect to trap microspheres and white blood cells and to position them at any angular position on the ring. Continuous motion around the circle is also demonstrated by rotating the input linear polarisation. The ability to spatially locate a beam and an associated trapped object simply by varying the polarisation of light suggests that this optical process should find application in the manipulation and actuation of micro- and nano-scale physical and biological objects.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 September 2011
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 8097, Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation VIII, 80971I (9 September 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.892416
Show Author Affiliations
David P. O'Dwyer, Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)
Ciaran F. Phelan, Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)
Kyle E. Ballantine, Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)
Y. P. Rakovich, Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)
James G. Lunney, Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)
John F. Donegan, Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8097:
Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation VIII
Kishan Dholakia; Gabriel C. Spalding, Editor(s)

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