Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Elliptical orbits of microspheres in an evanescent field

Lulu Liu, Simon Kheifets, Vincent Ginis, Andrea Di Donato, and Federico Capasso

We examine the motion of periodically driven and optically tweezed microspheres in fluid and find a rich variety of dynamic regimes. We demonstrate, in experiment and in theory, that mean particle motion in 2D is rarely parallel to the direction of the applied force and can even exhibit elliptical orbits with nonzero orbital angular momentum. The behavior is unique in that it depends neither on the nature of the microparticles nor that of the excitation; rather, angular momentum is introduced by the particle’s interaction with the anisotropic fluid and optical trap environment. Overall, we find this motion to be highly tunable and predictable.

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