Optical trapping is an increasingly important technique for controlling and probing matter at length scales ranging from nanometers to millimeters. This paper describes methods for creating large numbers of high-quality optical traps in arbitrary three-dimensional configurations and for dynamically reconfiguring them under computer control. In addition to forming conventional optical tweezers, these methods also can sculpt the wavefront of each trap individually, allowing for mixed arrays of traps based on different modes of light, including optical vortices, axial line traps, optical bottles and optical rotators. The ability to establish large numbers of individually structured optical traps and to move them independently in three dimensions promises exciting new opportunities for research, engineering, diagnostics, and manufacturing at mesoscopic lengthscales.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering