Optical Tweezers

Authored by: Jing Liu , Zhi-Yuan Li

21 Century Nanoscience – A Handbook

Print publication date:  November  2020
Online publication date:  November  2020

Print ISBN: 9780815356417
eBook ISBN: 9780429351617
Adobe ISBN:


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Light carries energy and momentum. Thus, light can exert force on objects and control the motions of objects remotely and wirelessly. However, this is not an intuitive and obvious concept due to the fact that the force is extremely weak in usual situations. Until the 1960s, the invention of lasers led to the discovery of an ever-increasing number of applications that utilize optical force. In 1986, A. Ashkin, the pioneer of optical tweezers, creatively used a highly focused laser beam by a high numerical aperture (NA) objective lens to implement three-dimensional (3D) trapping of dielectric particles around the focus spot [1], as shown in Figure 6.1.

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