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Optical Tweezers And Optical Spanners With Laguerre-Gaussian Modes

By NB Simpson, L Allen and MJ Padgett


We numerically model the axial trapping forces within optical tweezers arising from Laguerre-Gaussian laser modes. For an 8 mu m diameter sphere suspended in water, the higher-order modes produce an axial trapping force several times larger than that of the fundamental. Partial absorption results in a transfer of the orbital angular momentum from the Laguerre-Gaussian mode to the trapped particle. This results in the rotation of the particle by what may be called an optical spanner (wrench). For an absorption coefficient of alpha = 5700 m(-1) and a laser power of 10 mW, we find that an 8 mu m diameter sphere would acquire an angular acceleration of 10 x 10(4) rad s(-2) and a limiting angular velocity of 0.2 rad s(-1)

Year: 1996
DOI identifier: 10.1080/095003496154392
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Provided by: Enlighten
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