Optical forces arising from phase gradients

David G. Grier, B. Sun, F. C. Cheong, Y. Roichman, S. H. Lee, Y. Roichman, J. Amato-Grill

    Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


    Optical traps use forces exerted by specially structured beams of light to localize microscopic objects in three dimensions. In the case of single-beam optical traps, such as optical tweezers, trapping is due entirely to gradients in the light's intensity. Gradients in the light field's phase also control optical forces, however, and their quite general influence on trapped particles' dynamics has only recently been explored in detail. We demonstrate both theoretically and experimentally how phase gradients give rise to forces in optical traps and explore the sometimes surprising influence of phase-gradient forces on trapped objects' motions.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number72270E
    JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
    StatePublished - 2009
    EventComplex Light and Optical Forces III - San Jose, CA, United States
    Duration: Jan 28 2009Jan 29 2009


    • Holographic optical trapping
    • Holographic particle tracking
    • Holographic video microscopy
    • Lorenz-Mie theory
    • Optical forces
    • Optical tweezers
    • Statistical physics
    • Stochastic machines

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
    • Condensed Matter Physics
    • Computer Science Applications
    • Applied Mathematics
    • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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