Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Design of hybrid optical tweezers system for controlled three-dimensional micromanipulation

Yoshio Tanaka; Shogo Tsutsui; Hiroyuki Kitajima
Three-dimensional (3D) micro/nano-manipulation using optical tweezers is a significant technique for various scientific fields ranging from biology to nanotechnology. For the dynamic handling of multiple/individual micro-objects in a true 3D working space, we present an improved hybrid optical tweezers system consisting of two multibeam techniques. These two techniques include the generalized phase contrast method with a spatial light modulator and the time-shared scanning method with a two-axis steering mirror and an electrically focus-tunable lens. Unlike our previously reported system that could only handle micro-objects in a two and half dimensional working space, the present system has high versatility for controlled manipulation of multiple micro-objects in a true 3D working space. The controlled rotation of five beads forming a pentagon, that of four beads forming a tetrahedron about arbitrary axes, and the fully automated assembly and subsequent 3D translation of micro-bead arrays are successfully demonstrated as part of the 3D manipulation experiment.

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