Friday, January 31, 2014

Optimal beam diameter for lateral optical forces on microspheres at a water-air interface

Mincheng Zhong, Xi Wang, Jinhua Zhou, Ziqiang Wang, and Yinmei Li

Optical tweezers with a low numerical aperture microscope objective is used to manipulate the microspheres at the water-air interface. In this letter, we determine the optimal optical trap for the lateral manipulation of microspheres at a water-air interface. The experimental results show that the trapping force is influenced by the expansion of the trapping beam at the back aperture of the objective. The optimal filling ratio of 0.65 is suggested for lateral optical manipulation at the water-air interface. The lateral trapping forces at the water-air interface are theoretically investigated with the ray-optics model. The numerical results show that the lateral trapping forces can be changed by shrinking the diameter of the trapping laser beam. The numerical results are in accordance with the experimental results.

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