Friday, September 16, 2016

Light-induced rotations of chiral birefringent microparticles in optical tweezers

M. G. Donato, A. Mazzulla, P. Pagliusi, A. Magazzù, R. J. Hernandez, C. Provenzano, P. G. Gucciardi, O. M. Maragò & G. Cipparrone

We study the rotational dynamics of solid chiral and birefringent microparticles induced by elliptically polarized laser light in optical tweezers. We find that both reflection of left circularly polarized light and residual linear retardance affect the particle dynamics. The degree of ellipticity of laser light needed to induce rotations is found. The experimental results are compared with analytical calculations of the transfer of angular moment from elliptically polarized light to chiral birefringent particles.

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