The manipulation of fundamental properties of light allows the creation of a diversity of complex photonic formations, structured in time and space. These tailored light fields enable many applications in biological, medical, and technical fields. In most cases, light fields with stable propagation properties are required. Solutions of the Helmholtz equation provide a great variety of such field distributions. Besides solutions in cartesian and polar coordinates, especially solutions in elliptical coordinates suggest promising future applications in optical trapping applications. Here, we report the generation of complex elliptical light formations and their introduction as optical light moulds, which use the ability of light, to carry its shape to matter by light-material interaction. Three-dimensional material processing on nano- and micrometer scales is an interdisciplinary challenge, where our approach to mould materials in elliptical tailored light fields might become a key technology.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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