Optical aberration due to the nonflatness of spatial light modulators used in holographic optical tweezers significantly deteriorates the quality of the trap and may easily prevent stable trapping of particles. We use a Shack-Hartmann sensor to measure the distorted wavefront at the modulator plane; the conjugate of this wavefront is then added to the holograms written into the display to counteract its own curvature and thus compensate the optical aberration of the system. For a Holoeye LC-R 2500 reflective device, flatness is improved from 0.8λ to λ/16 (λ=532 nm), leading to a diffraction-limited spot at the focal plane of the microscope objective, which makes stable trapping possible. This process could be fully automated in a closed-loop configuration and would eventually allow other sources of aberration in the optical setup to be corrected for.
© 2009 Optical Society of AmericaPDF Article