Universal, strong and long-ranged trapping by optical conveyors

David B. Ruffner, David G. Grier

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Optical conveyors are active tractor beams that selectively transport illuminated objects either upstream or downstream along their axes. Formed by the coherent superposition of coaxial Bessel beams, an optical conveyor features an axial array of equally spaced intensity maxima that act as optical traps for small objects. We demonstrate through measurements on colloidal spheres and numerical calculations based on the generalized Lorenz-Mie theory that optical conveyors' interferometric structure endows them with trapping characteristics far superior to those of conventional optical tweezers. Optical conveyors form substantially stiffer traps and can transport a wider variety of materials over a much longer axial range.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)26834-26843
    Number of pages10
    JournalOptics Express
    Issue number22
    StatePublished - 2014

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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