Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Micro particle launcher/cleaner based on optical trapping technology

Zhihai Liu, Peibo Liang, Yu Zhang, Yaxun Zhang, Enming Zhao, Jun Yang, and Libo Yuan

Efficient and controllable launching function of an optical tweezers is a challenging task. We present and demonstrate a novel single fiber optical tweezers which can trap and launch (clean) a target polystyrene (PS) microsphere (diameter~10μm) with independent control by using two wavelengths beams: 980nm and 1480nm. We employ 980nm laser beam to trap the target PS microsphere by molding the fiber tip into a special tapered-shape; and we employ 1480nm laser beam to launch the trapped PS microsphere with a certain velocity by using the thermophoresis force generated from the thermal effect due to the high absorption of the 1480nm laser beams in water. When the launching force is smaller than the trapping force, the PS microsphere will be trapped near the fiber tip, and the launching force will blow away other PS microspheres in the workspace realizing the cleaning function; When the launching force is larger than the trapping force, the trapped PS microsphere will be launched away from the fiber tip with a certain velocity and towards a certain direction, realizing the launching function. The launching velocity, acceleration and the distance can be measured by detecting the interference signals generated from the PS microsphere surface and the fiber tip end-face. This PS microsphere launching and cleaning functions expanded new features of single fiber optical tweezers, providing for the possibility of more practical applications in the micro manipulation research fields.

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