We describe measurements of colloidal transport through arrays of micrometer-scale potential wells created with holographic optical tweezers. Varying the orientation of the trap array relative to the external driving force results in a hierarchy of lock-in transitions analogous to symmetry-selecting processes in a wide variety of systems. Focusing on colloid as a model system provides the first opportunity to observe the microscopic mechanisms of kinetic lock-in transitions and reveals a new class of statistically locked-in states. This particular realization also has immediate applications for continuously fractionating particles, biological cells, and macromolecules.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)