Event Title

Manipulating Micron-Sized Particles

Graduation Year

2013

Location

Atrium, Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Start Date

20-4-2013 2:00 PM

End Date

20-4-2013 3:00 PM

Description

In this study, we trapped a micron-sized dielectric particle using a technique known as Optical Tweezers. A focused laser created a potential ‘well’ that catches and holds onto a selected bead near the laser’s focal point. Various sizes of silica beads (~1-16 μm diameter) were successfully trapped (even at relatively low power levels), as well as micro-droplets of birefringent liquid crystals. Using a quarter waveplate, we circularly polarized our laser beam, and then demonstrated that such beams possess angular momentum, by transferring some of that angular momentum to the liquid crystal micro-droplets. Besides SAM, beams may be created which contain orbital angular momentum (OAM). Future studies may include adding OAM using a spatial light modulator to laser beam, and implementing another optical trap to create a dual-trap system.

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Apr 20th, 2:00 PM Apr 20th, 3:00 PM

Manipulating Micron-Sized Particles

Atrium, Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

In this study, we trapped a micron-sized dielectric particle using a technique known as Optical Tweezers. A focused laser created a potential ‘well’ that catches and holds onto a selected bead near the laser’s focal point. Various sizes of silica beads (~1-16 μm diameter) were successfully trapped (even at relatively low power levels), as well as micro-droplets of birefringent liquid crystals. Using a quarter waveplate, we circularly polarized our laser beam, and then demonstrated that such beams possess angular momentum, by transferring some of that angular momentum to the liquid crystal micro-droplets. Besides SAM, beams may be created which contain orbital angular momentum (OAM). Future studies may include adding OAM using a spatial light modulator to laser beam, and implementing another optical trap to create a dual-trap system.