Optical solenoid beams

Sang Hyuk Lee, Yohai Roichman, David G. Grier

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We introduce optical solenoid beams, diffractionless solutions of the Helmholtz equation whose diffraction-limited in-plane intensity peak spirals around the optical axis, and whose wavefronts carry an independent helical pitch. Unlike other collimated beams of light, appropriately designed solenoid beams have the noteworthy property of being able to exert forces on illuminated objects that are directed opposite to the direction of the light's propagation. We demonstrate this through video microscopy observations of a colloidal sphere moving upstream along a holographically projected optical solenoid beam.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)6988-6993
    Number of pages6
    JournalOptics Express
    Issue number7
    StatePublished - Mar 29 2010

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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