Friday, April 17, 2015

Higher order microfibre modes for dielectric particle trapping and propulsion

Aili Maimaiti, Viet Giang Truong, Marios Sergides, Ivan Gusachenko & Síle Nic Chormaic

Optical manipulation in the vicinity of optical micro- and nanofibres has shown potential across several fields in recent years, including microparticle control, and cold atom probing and trapping. To date, most work has focussed on the propagation of the fundamental mode through the fibre. However, along the maximum mode intensity axis, higher order modes have a longer evanescent field extension and larger field amplitude at the fibre waist compared to the fundamental mode, opening up new possibilities for optical manipulation and particle trapping. We demonstrate a microfibre/optical tweezers compact system for trapping and propelling dielectric particles based on the excitation of the first group of higher order modes at the fibre waist. Speed enhancement of polystyrene particle propulsion was observed for the higher order modes compared to the fundamental mode for particles ranging from 1 μm to 5 μm in diameter. The optical propelling velocity of a single, 3 μm polystyrene particle was found to be 8 times faster under the higher order mode than the fundamental mode field for a waist power of 25 mW. Experimental data are supported by theoretical calculations. This work can be extended to trapping and manipulation of laser-cooled atoms with potential for quantum networks.

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