Optical Forces on colloids and artificial cells


Light forces at work

Optical micromanipulation is a powerful and versatile technique based upon the light–matter interaction. Whilst the forces exerted by optical traps are naturally very small, they are sufficient to realize non-invasive mechanical control over mesoscopic particles within atomic, biological and colloidal systems. The inherent compatibility with modern microscopy enhances the reconfigurability of the trap while the accuracy achieved in a calibrated optical trap presents itself as a quantitative force probe. Thus forces can be applied in a controlled manner to biological systems including cells and molecular motors and processes measured with high precision. The impact is not limited to biology. Optical traps have provided seminal studies in colloidal and optical physics including the phase dynamics of thermodynamic systems, Brownian diffusion, aspects of microfluidics, and fundamental issues related to optical angular momentum. This article aims to focus upon the emergent theme of optical trapping. Optical trapping with structured light fields. By structured light fields we refer to the generation of multiple arrays of traps and the use of specialist light fields such as Laguerre-Gaussian beams and Bessel beams. Structured light fields are making a major impact on optical trappingOptical trapping and on subsequent applications including those in biomedicine. In this project, we developed new optical manipulation techniques for colloidal system and artifical cells.





Background Literature

- "Dynamic axial control over optically levitating particles in air with an electrically-tunable variable-focus lens" Biomedical Optics Express 7(7), 2902-2911 (2016)

-"Resolving Stable Axial Trapping Points of Nanowires in an Optical Tweezers Using Photoluminescence  Mapping" Nanoletters 13 1185 (2013)

-"Nonlinear optical response of colloidal suspensions," Optics Express 17, 10277-10289 (2009)

-"Optical Trapping Takes Shape: The Use of Structured Light Fields. Advances in Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics vol 56. 261 (2008)


Collaboration: Research School of Physics and Engineering, Professor Andrei Rode




Optical trapping, Artifical cells, Colloidal system

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