Friday, November 16, 2012

Optical trapping, driving, and arrangement of particles using a tapered fibre probe

Hongbao Xin, Rui Xu & Baojun Li

The ability of manipulating mesoscopic objects with high precision and flexibility is extremely important for a wide variety of fields from physics, biochemistry, to biomedicine. Particularly, the ability of arranging particles/cells into desired patterns precisely is a challenge for numerous physical and biological applications. Here, we report a strategy of realizing highly flexible trapping, driving, and precise arrangement of particles using a tapered fibre probe. Using randomly distributed 3-µm-diameter silica particles as an example, we demonstrate that the strategy is able to stably trap the particles and drive them to targeted regions, subsequently arrange the particles into desired patterns. To further demonstrate the ability of this strategy, experiments were done using sub-micron sized particles and biological samples (bacteria and cells). This strategy provides a new approach to manipulate mesoscopic objects precisely and flexibly, and hopefully can be used in future fundamental and applied researches of interdiscipline.

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