The interaction between multiple particles in an optical trap, and the phenomena collectively referred to as "optical binding", have been the subject of interest in a number of different trapping geometries. Examples include longitudinal and transverse trapping in counter-propagating Gaussian beams [1,2], Bessel beams [3] and evanescent wave traps [4]. Excellent agreement has been demonstrated between experimental results and numerical simulation using electromagnetic theories such as Generalized Lorentz-Mie Theory or the Generalized Multipole Technique [5]. However there has been little success in translating these numerical simulation results into a simple, intuitive understanding of the differing mechanisms which produce these optical binding effects.

© 2009 IEEE

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