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Monday, December 9, 2013

Mode-based microparticle conveyor belt in air-filled hollow-core photonic crystal fiber

Oliver A. Schmidt, Tijmen G. Euser, and Philip St.J. Russell

We show how microparticles can be moved over long distances and precisely positioned in a low-loss air-filled hollow-core photonic crystal fiber using a coherent superposition of two co-propagating spatial modes, balanced by a backward-propagating fundamental mode. This creates a series of trapping positions spaced by half the beat-length between the forward-propagating modes (typically a fraction of a millimeter). The system allows a trapped microparticle to be moved along the fiber by continuously tuning the relative phase between the two forward-propagating modes. This mode-based optical conveyor belt combines long-range transport of microparticles with a positional accuracy of 1 µm. The technique also has potential uses in waveguide-based optofluidic systems.

DOI
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