Light Streak Tracking of Optically Trapped Thin Microdisks

Z. Cheng, P. M. Chaikin, T. G. Mason

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Nonspherical particles can uniquely probe soft system dynamics. We show that laser tweezers stably trap thin coinlike microdisks in 3D with an edge-on orientation. Scattered light forms a streak that we track using a fast camera to measure the disk’s angular displacement. Linearly polarized tweezers rotationally trap a birefringent disk, and we measure its harmonically bound Brownian rotation over 5 decades in time. Near a surface, the disk exhibits a translational-orientational switchback oscillation. Circularly polarized tweezers rotate the disk and streak, yielding a colloidal lighthouse.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    JournalPhysical Review Letters
    Issue number10
    StatePublished - 2002

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Physics and Astronomy


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