Abstract

We report the use of an aspheric holographic optical element (axilens) that essentially combines the properties of the long focal depth of an axicon and the high energy concentration of a conventional spherical lens for long-distance guiding of microscopic objects. With the use of the axilens, polystyrene spheres (~6μm diameter) could be transported over a distance of ~16mm that was 3 times longer compared with that obtained using a spherical lens of focal length identical to the mean focal length of the axilens. Further, due to the availability of good on-axis power density, even objects having very marginally higher refractive index than the medium (differing only at third decimal place) could be guided with a guiding speed of ~5μm/s.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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