Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Optically trapped probes with nanometer-scale tips for femto-Newton force measurement

M R Pollard, S W Botchway, B Chichkov, E Freeman, R N J Halsall, D W K Jenkins, I Loader, A Ovsianikov, A W Parker, R Stevens, R Turchetta, A D Ward and M Towrie

We describe the development of a novel force probe, controlled by multiple optical traps, with a nanometer-scale tip that protrudes outside the direct laser radiation field. We have measured forces to an accuracy of 240 fN, which enables future experiments that probe photo-sensitive components (such as biological cells) and non-transparent objects. The probes were produced using two methods, electron beam lithography and two-photon polymerization, with the latter providing approximately twice as much trapping stiffness.


Crystallization in Unsaturated Glycine/D2O Solution Achieved by Irradiating a Focused Continuous Wave Near Infrared Laser

Thitiporn Rungsimanon, Ken-ichi Yuyama, Teruki Sugiyama, and Hiroshi Masuhara

The crystallization of glycine in unsaturated solution is made possible by laser trapping of its molecular clusters due to photon pressure of a focused continuous wave near-infrared laser beam. Always one single crystal is spatiotemporally formed at a focal spot, and then it undergoes dissolution, eventually leading to repetitive crystallization and dissolution. The polymorph characterization of the crystal formed in unsaturated solution confirmed the γ-form, which is not obtainable by conventional crystallization methods. The preparation probability of the γ-form compared to the α-form is much higher than that in the supersaturated solution.


All-Optical Patterning of Au Nanoparticles on Surfaces Using Optical Traps

Mason J. Guffey and Norbert F. Scherer

The fabrication of nanoscale devices would be greatly enhanced by “nanomanipulators” that can position single and few objects rapidly with nanometer precision and without mechanical damage. Here, we demonstrate the feasibility and precision of an optical laser tweezer, or optical trap, approach to place single gold (Au) nanoparticles on surfaces with high precision (approximately 100 nm standard deviation). The error in the deposition process is rather small but is determined to be larger than the thermal fluctuations of single nanoparticles within the optical trap. Furthermore, areas of tens of square micrometers could be patterned in a matter of minutes. Since the method does not rely on lithography, scanning probes or a specialized surface, it is versatile and compatible with a variety of systems. We discuss active feedback methods to improve positioning accuracy and the potential for multiplexing and automation.


Peptide Nucleic Acids as Tools for Single-Molecule Sequence Detection and Manipulation

Hagar Zohar, Craig L. Hetherington, Carlos Bustamante, and Susan J. Muller

The ability to strongly and sequence-specifically attach modifications such as fluorophores and haptens to individual double-stranded (ds) DNA molecules is critical to a variety of single-molecule experiments. We propose using modified peptide nucleic acids (PNAs) for this purpose and implement them in two model single-molecule experiments where individual DNA molecules are manipulated via microfluidic flow and optical tweezers, respectively. We demonstrate that PNAs are versatile and robust sequence-specific tethers.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Mechanical force characterization in manipulating live cells with optical tweezers

Yanhua Wu, Dong Sun and Wenhao Huang

Laser trapping with optical tweezers is a noninvasive manipulation technique and has received increasing attentions in biological applications. Understanding forces exerted on live cells is essential to cell biomechanical characterizations. Traditional numerical or experimental force measurement assumes live cells as ideal objects, ignoring their complicated inner structures and rough membranes. In this paper, we propose a new experimental method to calibrate the trapping and drag forces acted on live cells. Binding a micro polystyrene sphere to a live cell and moving the mixture with optical tweezers, we can obtain the drag force on the cell by subtracting the drag force on the sphere from the total drag force on the mixture, under the condition of extremely low Reynolds number. The trapping force on the cell is then obtained from the drag force when the cell is in force equilibrium state. Experiments on numerous live cells demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed force calibration approach.


A microfluidic device with integrated optics for microparticle switching

Siew-Kit Hoi, Zhi-Bin Hu, Yuanjun Yan, Chorng-Haur Sow, and Andrew A. Bettiol

We report a high efficiency and noninvasive microfluidic particle switching device with integrated optical microstructures. Microfluidic channels are combined with a cylindrical microlens and an optical fiber to achieve on-chip optical switching of colloidal particles without the need for an optical microscope. A laser beam is coupled into an optical fiber and redirected by the microlens. The angle of incidence of the optical force can be changed by varying the position of the optical fiber relative to the microlens. Under certain circumstances, a switching efficiency approaching 100% was achieved with a relatively fast response time for a solution containing 10 μm polystyrene spheres.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Optical tweezers for the micromanipulation of plant cytoplasm and organelles

Chris Hawes, Anne Osterrieder, Imogen A Sparkes and Tijs Ketelaar

Laser trapping of micron-sized particles can be achieved utilizing the radiation pressure generated by a focused infrared laser beam. Thus, it is theoretically possible to trap and manipulate organelles within the cytoplasm and remodel the architecture of the cytoplasm and membrane systems. Here we describe recent progress, using this under utilized technology, in the manipulation of cytoplasmic strands and organelles in plant cells.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Electrophoretic mobility of a growing cell studied by photonic force microscope

Mario Tonin, Stefan Bálint, Pau Mestres, Ignacio A. Martìnez, and Dmitri Petrov

Living cells have spatially localized charged groups such as nucleus, cell walls, and others that can move in an external electric field providing the cell electrophoretic mobility (EPM). We suggest to monitor the EPM of a single living cell during its growth using optical tweezers combined with a position detector. As an example, we studied the EPM during the yeast growth, and we observed a nonmonotonic behavior of the EPM during the cell cycle, such as that the maximal EPM was observed at the initial stage of the growth, strongly reducing when the cell cycle is near its final stage.


Experimental and theoretical determination of optical binding forces

O. Brzobohatý, T. Čižmár, V. Karásek, M. Šiler, K. Dholakia, and P. Zemánek

We present an experimental and theoretical study of long distance optical binding effects acting upon micro-particles placed in a standing wave optical field. In particular we present for the first time quantitatively the binding forces between individual particles for varying inter-particle separations, polarizations and incident angles of the binding beam. Our quantitative experimental data and numerical simulations show that these effects are essentially enhanced due to the presence of a reflective surface in a sample chamber. They also reveal conditions to form stable optically bound clusters of two and three particles in this geometry. We also show that the inter-particle separation in the formed clusters can be controlled by altering the angle of the beam incident upon the sample plane. This demonstrates new perspectives for the generation and control of optically bound soft matter and may be useful to understand various inter-particle effects in the presence of reflective surfaces.


All-silica fiber Bessel-like beam generator and its applications in longitudinal optical trapping and transport of multiple dielectric particles

Sung Rae Lee, Jongki Kim, Sejin Lee, Yongmin Jung, Jun Ki Kim, and K. Oh
A Bessel-like beam was generated in a novel all-fiber integrated structure. A concentric ring intensity pattern was achieved by the multimode interference along the coreless silica fiber, which was then focused by the integrated micro-lens to result in a Bessel-like beam. The average beam diameter of 7.5 μm maintained over 500 μm axial length for a continuous wave Yb-doped fiber laser input oscillating at the wavelength of 1.08 μm. The generated beam was successfully applied to two-dimension optical trapping and longitudinal transport of multiple dielectric particles confirming its unique non-diffracting and self-reconstructing nature. Physical principle of operation, fabrication, and experimental results are discussed.


Parallel Analysis of Individual Biological Cells Using Multifocal Laser Tweezers Raman Spectroscopy

Rui Liu, Douglas S. Taylor, Dennis L. Matthews, and James W. Chan

We report on the development and characterization of a multifocal laser tweezers Raman spectroscopy (M-LTRS) technique for parallel Raman spectral acquisition of individual biological cells. Using a 785-nm diode laser and a time-sharing laser trapping scheme, multiple laser foci are generated to optically trap single polystyrene beads and suspension cells in a linear pattern. Raman signals from the trapped objects are simultaneously projected through the slit of a spectrometer and spatially resolved on a charge-coupled device (CCD) detector with minimal signal crosstalk between neighboring cells. By improving the rate of single-cell analysis, M-LTRS is expected to be a valuable method for studying single-cell dynamics of cell populations and for the development of high-throughput Raman based cytometers.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Optical manipulation: Trapping ions

Timo A. Nieminen
The unexpected demonstration of all-optical trapping of ions offers new possibilities in the simulation of quantum spin systems, ultracold chemistry with ions and more.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Parameter exploration of optically trapped liquid aerosols

D. R. Burnham, P. J. Reece, and D. McGloin

When studying the motion of optically trapped particles on the microsecond time scale, in low-viscosity media such as air, inertia cannot be neglected. Resolution of unusual and interesting behavior not seen in colloidal trapping experiments is possible. In an attempt to explain the phenomena we use power-spectral methods to perform a parameter study of the Brownian motion of optically trapped liquid aerosol droplets concentrated around the critically damped regime. We present evidence that the system is suitably described by a simple harmonic oscillator model which must include a description of Faxén’s correction, but not necessarily frequency dependent hydrodynamic corrections to Stokes’ law. We also provide results describing how the system behaves under several variables and discuss the difficulty in decoupling the parameters responsible for the observed behavior. We show that due to the relatively low dynamic viscosity and high trap stiffness, it is easy to transfer between over- and underdamped motion by experimentally altering either trap stiffness or damping. Our results suggest stable aerosol trapping may be achieved in underdamped conditions, but the onset of deleterious optical forces at high trapping powers prevents the probing of the upper stability limits due to Brownian motion.


Optical trapping of dielectric nanoparticles in resonant cavities

Juejun Hu, Shiyun Lin, Lionel C. Kimerling, and Kenneth Crozier

We theoretically investigate the opto-mechanical interactions between a dielectric nanoparticle and the resonantly enhanced optical field inside a high Q, small-mode-volume optical cavity. We develop an analytical method based on open system analysis to account for the resonant perturbation due to particle introduction and predict trapping potential in good agreement with three-dimensional (3D) finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) numerical simulations. Strong size-dependent trapping dynamics distinctly different from free-space optical tweezers arise as a consequence of the finite cavity perturbation. We illustrate single nanoparticle trapping from an ensemble of monodispersed particles based on size-dependent trapping dynamics. We further discover that the failure of the conventional dipole approximation in the case of resonant cavity trapping originates from a new perturbation interaction mechanism between trapped particles and spatially localized photons.


TimeSeriesStreaming.vi: LabVIEW program for reliable data streaming of large analog time series

Czerwinski, F., Oddershede, L.B. 

With modern data acquisition devices that work fast and very precise, scientists often face the task of dealing with huge amounts of data. These need to be rapidly processed and stored onto a hard disk. We present a LabVIEW program which reliably streams analog time series of MHz sampling. Its run time has virtually no limitation. We explicitly show how to use the program to extract time series from two experiments: For a photodiode detection system that tracks the position of an optically trapped particle and for a measurement of ionic current through a glass capillary. The program is easy to use and versatile as the input can be any type of analog signal. Also, the data streaming software is simple, highly reliable, and can be easily customized to include, e.g., real-time power spectral analysis and Allan variance noise quantification. Program summary: Program title: TimeSeriesStreaming.VI. Catalogue identifier: AEHT_v1_0. Program summary URL: http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/summaries/AEHT_v1_0.html. Program obtainable from: CPC Program Library, Queen's University, Belfast, N. Ireland. Licensing provisions: Standard CPC licence, http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/licence/licence.html. No. of lines in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 250. No. of bytes in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 63 259. Distribution format: tar.gz. Programming language: LabVIEW (http://www.ni.com/labview/). Computer: Any machine running LabVIEW 8.6 or higher. Operating system: Windows XP and Windows 7. RAM: 60-360 Mbyte. Classification: 3. Nature of problem: For numerous scientific and engineering applications, it is highly desirable to have an efficient, reliable, and flexible program to perform data streaming of time series sampled with high frequencies and possibly for long time intervals. This type of data acquisition often produces very large amounts of data not easily streamed onto a computer hard disk using standard methods. Solution method: This LabVIEW program is developed to directly stream any kind of time series onto a hard disk. Due to optimized timing and usage of computational resources, such as multicores and protocols for memory usage, this program provides extremely reliable data acquisition. In particular, the program is optimized to deal with large amounts of data, e.g., taken with high sampling frequencies and over long time intervals. The program can be easily customized for time series analyses. Restrictions: Only tested in Windows-operating LabVIEW environments, must use TDMS format, acquisition cards must be LabVIEW compatible, driver DAQmx installed. Running time: As desirable: microseconds to hours.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

An SLM-based Shack–Hartmann wavefront sensor for aberration correction in optical tweezers

Richard W Bowman, Amanda J Wright and Miles J Padgett
Holographic optical tweezers allow the creation of multiple optical traps in 3D configurations through the use of dynamic diffractive optical elements called spatial light modulators (SLMs). We show that, in addition to controlling traps, the SLM in a holographic tweezers system can be both the principal element of a wavefront sensor and the corrective element in a closed-loop adaptive optics system. This means that aberrations in such systems can be estimated and corrected without altering the experimental setup. Aberrations are estimated using the Shack–Hartmann method, where an array of spots is projected into the sample plane and the distortion of this array is used to recover the aberration. The system can recover aberrations of up to ten wavelengths peak–peak, and is sensitive to aberrations much smaller than a wavelength. The spot pattern could also be analysed by eye, as a tool for aligning the system.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Forces within Single Pairs of Charged Colloids in Aqueous Solutions of Ionic Liquids as Studied by Optical Tweezers

Mahdy M. Elmahdy, Christof Gutsche, and Friedrich Kreme

Forces of interaction within single pairs of negatively charged microsized blank colloids in aqueous solutions of water miscible room temperature ionic liquids (RTILs) have been measured at varying concentrations and pH by using optical tweezers (OT). Three different water miscible RTILs (1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium tetrafluoroborate [BMIM-BF4], 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium trifluoromethanesulfonate [BMIM-TfO], and 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride [BMIM-Cl]) having the same organic cation [BMIM]+ and different inorganic anions ([BF4]−, [TfO]−, and Cl−) are used and compared with the high temperature molten salt (KCl). The experimental data are well described by a size-corrected screened Coulomb interaction approach which originates from the linearized Poisson−Boltzmann (PB) equation. The effective surface charge density σ derived from the fitted force-separation data is found to be concentration and pH dependent.


On the concept of “tractor beams”

S. Sukhov and A. Dogariu

We demonstrate the existence of a class of optical beams where the nonconservative forces can be locally oriented in a direction opposite to the propagation wave vector. Objects placed in the vicinity of these locations will move toward the source of light. The behavior of these negative forces is discussed for the particular case of nondiffracting rotating scale-invariant vector electromagnetic waves.


ion of a Gas Mixture by Means of Optical Trapping of the Gas

A. A. Shevyrin and M. S. Ivanov

Contributions of barodiffusion and thermodiffusion to separation of a methane–helium mixture are calculated with the use of a laser-induced interferential lattice with a non-resonant frequency. The process of separation is studied by the direct simulation Monte Carlo method of rarefied gas flows, which can be considered as a numerical method of the stochastic solution of the Boltzmann equation. An analysis of modeling results shows that barodiffusion arising under optical radiation owing to the influence of ponderomotive forces on the species of the gas mixture exerts a significant effect during separation of the gas mixture by means of optical trapping, in addition to the selective action of the lattice. The effect of thermodiffusion caused by heating of the mixture by the optical lattice is found to be significant only in peripheral areas of the lattice.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Laser speckle field as a multiple particle trap

V G Shvedov, A V Rode, Ya V Izdebskaya, D Leykam, A S Desyatnikov, W Krolikowski and Yu S Kivshar

We demonstrate that a speckle pattern in the spatially coherent laser field transmitted by a diffuser forms a multitude of three-dimensional intensity micro-pockets acting as particle traps for air-borne light absorbing particles. Confinement of up to a few thousand particles in air with a unidirectional single beam has been achieved. Theoretical analysis of the speckle defined trapping volume is in a good agreement with experimental results on capturing of aggregates of carbon nanoparticles in air.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Optical Manipulation of Microparticles in an SU-8/PDMS Hybrid Microfluidic Chip Incorporating a Monolithically Integrated On-Chip Lens Set

Honglei Guo; Ping Zhao; Gaozhi Xiao; Zhiyi Zhang; Jianping Yao

An SU-8/PDMS microfluidic chip incorporating a monolithically integrated on-chip lens set for transport and manipulation of microparticles is developed. The components, including the on-chip lens set, the microfluidic channel, and the fiber grooves, are defined in a single layer of SU-8 by one-step photolithography. The design of the on-chip lens set and the fabrication of the microfluidic chip are fully described. The influence of the beam-waist radius on the manipulation performance is theoretically analyzed and experimentally verified for the first time. In the cross-type optofluidic architecture, the evaluation is performed by measuring the particle displacement with different beam-waist radii under different fluid-flow rates. The on-chip lens set is designed to have a specific dimension to achieve the required beam-waist radius. It is revealed that the particle displacement is counter-proportional to the beam-waist radius. An experiment is performed. The results show that the particle displacement is increased by reducing the beam-waist radius. The optical manipulation of microparticles is also demonstrated by using two counter-propagating light beams that are perpendicular to the fluid-flow direction with the beam-waist radius determined by two on-chip lens sets placed on the two sides of the microfluidic channel. The proposed architecture could be used to enhance the performance in particle transport, separation, and concentration.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Fundamentals of negative refractive index optical trapping: forces and radiation pressures exerted by focused Gaussian beams using the generalized Lorenz-Mie theory

Leonardo A. Ambrosio and Hugo E. Hernández-Figueroa

Based on the generalized Lorenz-Mie theory (GLMT), this paper reveals, for the first time in the literature, the principal characteristics of the optical forces and radiation pressure cross-sections exerted on homogeneous, linear, isotropic and spherical hypothetical negative refractive index (NRI) particles under the influence of focused Gaussian beams in the Mie regime. Starting with ray optics considerations, the analysis is then extended through calculating the Mie coefficients and the beam-shape coefficients for incident focused Gaussian beams. Results reveal new and interesting trapping properties which are not observed for commonly positive refractive index particles and, in this way, new potential applications in biomedical optics can be devised.


Heterogeneity of the electrostatic repulsion between colloids at the oil–water interface

Bum Jun Park, Jan Vermant and Eric M. Furst

The pairwise and multi-body interaction forces between polystyrene particles at an oil–water interface are measured. The electrostatic repulsive force has the expected dependence on particle separation for a dipole–dipole interaction, Frepr−4, but exhibits a distribution of magnitudes in which the force depends on the particle pairs tested and sample preparation method. A gamma distribution accurately models this variation in the repulsion between pairs of particles. Despite this heterogeneity, the multibody interactions measured in small ensembles are pairwise additive. Good agreement is found for the two-dimensional equilibrium suspension structure between experiments and Monte Carlo simulations when a heterogeneous interaction potential is implemented in the latter. The heterogeneity and long-range of the repulsive interaction accounts for the lower apparent pair interaction potential derived from the suspension radial distribution function at dilute, but finite, surface concentrations when compared to the direct pair interaction measurements made with laser tweezers at nearly infinite dilution.


Gradient forces on double-negative particles in optical tweezers using Bessel beams in the ray optics regime

Leonardo A. Ambrosio and Hugo E. Hernández-Figueroa

Gradient forces on double negative (DNG) spherical dielectric particles are theoretically evaluated for v-th Bessel beams supposing geometrical optics approximations based on momentum transfer. For the first time in the literature, comparisons between these forces for double positive (DPS) and DNG particles are reported. We conclude that, contrary to the conventional case of positive refractive index, the gradient forces acting on a DNG particle may not reverse sign when the relative refractive index n goes from |n| > 1 to |n| < 1, thus revealing new and interesting trapping properties.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Geometry-induced electrostatic trapping of nanometric objects in a fluid

Madhavi Krishnan, Nassiredin Mojarad, Philipp Kukura & Vahid Sandoghdar

The ability to trap an object—whether a single atom or a macroscopic entity—affects fields as diverse as quantum optics, soft condensed-matter physics, biophysics and clinical medicine. Many sophisticated methodologies have been developed to counter the randomizing effect of Brownian motion in solution, but stable trapping of nanometre-sized objects remains challenging. Optical tweezers are widely used traps, but require sufficiently polarizable objects and thus are unable to manipulate small macromolecules. Confinement of single molecules has been achieved using electrokinetic feedback guided by tracking of a fluorescent label, but photophysical constraints limit the trap stiffness and lifetime. Here we show that a fluidic slit with appropriately tailored topography has a spatially modulated electrostatic potential that can trap and levitate charged objects in solution for up to several hours. We illustrate this principle with gold particles, polymer beads and lipid vesicles with diameters of tens of nanometres, which are all trapped without external intervention and independently of their mass and dielectric function. The stiffness and stability of our electrostatic trap is easily tuned by adjusting the system geometry and the ionic strength of the solution, and it lends itself to integration with other manipulation mechanisms. We anticipate that these features will allow its use for contact-free confinement of single proteins and macromolecules, and the sorting and fractionation of nanometre-sized objects or their assembly into high-density arrays.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Nanoscale ablation through optically trapped microspheres

Romain Fardel, Euan McLeod, Yu-Cheng Tsai and Craig B. Arnold

The ability to directly create patterns with size scales below 100 nm is important for many applications where the production or repair of high resolution and density features is needed. Laser-based direct-write methods have the benefit of being able to quickly and easily modify and create structures on existing devices, but ablation can negatively impact the overall technique. In this paper we show that self-positioning of near-field objectives through the optical trap assisted nanopatterning (OTAN) method allows for ablation without harming the objective elements. Small microbeads are positioned in close proximity to a substrate where ablation is initiated. Upon ablation, these beads are temporarily displaced from the trap but rapidly return to the initial position. We analyze the range of fluence values for which this process occurs and find that there exists a critical threshold beyond which the beads are permanently ejected.


Probing DNA with micro- and nanocapillaries and optical tweezers

L J Steinbock, O Otto, D R Skarstam, S Jahn, C Chimerel, J L Gornall and U F Keyser

We combine for the first time optical tweezer experiments with the resistive pulse technique based on capillaries. Quartz glass capillaries are pulled into a conical shape with tip diameters as small as 27 nm. Here, we discuss the translocation of λ-phage DNA which is driven by an electrophoretic force through the nanocapillary. The resulting change in ionic current indicates the folding state of single λ-phage DNA molecules. Our flow cell design allows for the straightforward incorporation of optical tweezers. We show that a DNA molecule attached to an optically trapped colloid is pulled into a capillary by electrophoretic forces. The detected electrophoretic force is in good agreement with measurements in solid-state nanopores.


Dynamic translocation of ligand-complexed DNA through solid-state nanopores with optical tweezers

Andy Sischka, Andre Spiering, Maryam Khaksar, Miriam Laxa, Janine König, Karl-Josef Dietz and Dario Anselmetti

We investigated the threading and controlled translocation of individual lambda-DNA (λ-DNA) molecules through solid-state nanopores with piconewton force sensitivity, millisecond time resolution and picoampere ionic current sensitivity with a set-up combining quantitative 3D optical tweezers (OT) with electrophysiology. With our virtually interference-free OT set-up the binding of RecA and single peroxiredoxin protein molecules to λ-DNA was quantitatively investigated during dynamic translocation experiments where effective forces and respective ionic currents of the threaded DNA molecule through the nanopore were measured during inward and outward sliding. Membrane voltage-dependent experiments of reversible single protein/DNA translocation scans yield hysteresis-free, asymmetric single-molecule fingerprints in the measured force and conductance signals that can be attributed to the interplay of optical trap and electrostatic nanopore potentials. These experiments allow an exact localization of the bound protein along the DNA strand and open fascinating applications for label-free detection of DNA-binding ligands, where structural and positional binding phenomena can be investigated at a single-molecule level.