Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Optical forces in lossless arbitrary refractive index optical trapping and micromanipulation

Leonardo A. Ambrosio, Hugo E. Hernández-Figueroa

This paper shows, using both a ray optics approach and in the framework of the generalized Lorenz–Mie theory (GLMT), what happens to the optical forces exerted on a lossless spherical particle with an arbitrary (positive or negative) relative refractive index, allowing the external medium also to be metamaterial. It is shown that the anti-parallelism between the linear momentum p of each photon and the Poynting vector Sassociated with the propagating wave, observed in negative refractive index media, leads to shifts in the direction of the optical force of a single ray and, consequently, to the total optical force exerted by an arbitrary-shaped laser beam. This extends the possible realizable traps and reveals how arbitrary-shaped laser beams can be used to trap particles with arbitrary refractive indices.

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