Monday, April 27, 2015

Stability of aerosol droplets in Bessel beam optical traps under constant and pulsed external forces

Grégory David, Kıvanç Esat, Sebastian Hartweg, Johannes Cremer, Egor Chasovskikh and Ruth Signorell

We report on the dynamics of aerosol droplets in optical traps under the influence of additional constant and pulsed external forces. Experimental results are compared with simulations of the three-dimensional droplet dynamics for two types of optical traps, the counter-propagating Bessel beam (CPBB) trap and the quadruple Bessel beam (QBB) trap. Under the influence of a constant gas flow (constant external force), the QBB trap is found to be more stable compared with the CPBB trap. By contrast, under pulsed laser excitation with laser pulse durations of nanoseconds (pulsed external force), the type of trap is of minor importance for the droplet stability. It typically needs pulsed laser forces that are several orders of magnitude higher than the optical forces to induce escape of the droplet from the trap. If the droplet strongly absorbs the pulsed laser light, these escape forces can be strongly reduced. The lower stability of absorbing droplets is a result of secondary thermal processes that cause droplet escape.

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