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Proceedings Paper

A constant torque micro-viscometer
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Paper Abstract

We present a technique to measure the viscosity of microscopic volumes of liquid using rotating optical tweezers. The technique can be used when only microlitre (or less) sample volumes are available, for example biological or medical samples, or to make local measurements in complicated micro-structures such as cells. The rotation of the optical tweezers is achieved using the polarisation of the trapping light to rotate a trapped birefringent spherical crystal, called vaterite. Transfer of angular momentum from a circularly polarised beam to the particle causes the rotation. The transmitted light can then be analysed to determine the applied torque to the particle and its rotation rate. The applied torque is determined from the change in the circular polarisation of the beam caused by the vaterite and the rotation rate is used to find the viscous drag on the rotating spherical particle. The viscosity of the surrounding liquid can then be determined. Using this technique we measured the viscosity of liquids at room temperature, which agree well with tabulated values. We also study the local heating effects due to absorption of the trapping laser beam. We report heating of 50-70 K/W in the region of liquid surrounding the particle.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 March 2005
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 5736, Nanomanipulation with Light, (14 March 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.590147
Show Author Affiliations
Simon John Wyatt Parkin, Univ. of Queensland (Australia)
Gregor G. Knoener, Univ. of Queensland (Australia)
Timo A. Nieminen, Univ. of Queensland (Australia)
Norman R. Heckenberg, Univ. of Queensland (Australia)
Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop, Univ. of Queensland (Australia)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5736:
Nanomanipulation with Light
David L. Andrews, Editor(s)

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