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Friday, October 19, 2012

Optical Conveyors: A Class of Active Tractor Beams

David B. Ruffner and David G. Grier 

We experimentally demonstrate a class of tractor beams created by coherently superposing coaxial Bessel beams. These optical conveyors have periodic intensity variations along their axes that act as highly effective optical traps for micrometer-scale objects. Trapped objects can be moved selectively upstream or downstream along the conveyor by appropriately changing the Bessel beams’ relative phase. The same methods used to project a single optical conveyor can project arrays of independent optical conveyors, allowing bidirectional transport in three dimensions.

DOI
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