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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)