G. M. Gibson, R. W. Bowman, A. Linnenberger, M. Dienerowitz, D. B. Phillips, D. M. Carberry, M. J. Miles, and M. J. Padgett
Holographic optical tweezers have found many applications including the construction of complex micron-scale 3D structures and the control of tools and probes for position, force, and viscosity measurement. We have developed a compact, stable, holographic optical tweezers instrument which can be easily transported and is compatible with a wide range of microscopy techniques, making it a valuable tool for collaborative research. The instrument measures approximately 30×30×35 cm and is designed around a custom inverted microscope, incorporating a fibre laser operating at 1070 nm. We designed the control software to be easily accessible for the non-specialist, and have further improved its ease of use with a multi-touch iPad interface. A high-speed camera allows multiple trapped objects to be tracked simultaneously. We demonstrate that the compact instrument is stable to 0.5 nm for a 10 s measurement time by plotting the Allan variance of the measured position of a trapped 2 μm silica bead. We also present a range of objects that have been successfully manipulated.