Controlling optical binding creates trap for optical matter

Mar 22, 2006

Optical binding forces can be precisely controlled to realize a trap for self-organized optical matter, MIT researchers will report in an upcoming issue of Physical Review Letters.

Optical binding forces, reported in 1989 by Burns et al., manifest themselves as soon as multiple particles interact in an electromagnetic field. So far, these forces have been experimentally verified but they have never been actively controlled to achieve desired properties.

"Our paper shows for the first time a precise control of these forces," said Tomasz M. Grzegorczyk, a research scientist in MIT's Research Laboratory of Electronics. This is illustrated "by balancing the radiation pressure from a laser light, a work pioneered by Ashkin in the 1970s-1980s, to realize an optical trap.

"Such control can be used to create reconfigurable field and force distributions with customizable properties in space and time, which have important applications in biology for the manipulation of small living organisms and in astronomy for the design of a giant space laser trapped mirror as postulated by Labeyrie in 1979."

Source: MIT

Explore further: Soft, energy-efficient robotic wings

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Soft, energy-efficient robotic wings

10 hours ago

Dielectric elastomers are novel materials for making actuators or motors with soft and lightweight properties that can undergo large active deformations with high-energy conversion efficiencies. This has ...

Trapping and watching motile cells

14 hours ago

A new approach enables rapid characterization of living suspension cells in 4 dimensions while they are immobilized and manipulated within optical traps.

Controlling defects in engineered liquid crystals

14 hours ago

Sitting with a joystick in the comfort of their chairs, scientists can play "rodeo" on a screen magnifying what is happening under their microscope. They rely on optical tweezers to manipulate an intangible ring created out ...

Super sensitive measurement of magnetic fields

Mar 30, 2015

There are electrical signals in the nervous system, the brain and throughout the human body and there are tiny magnetic fields associated with these signals that could be important for medical science. Researchers ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.