Abstract

We carry out a detailed numerical simulation study to investigate the dependency of optical force on beam polarization. Using the well-known finite-difference time domain method and Maxwell’s stress tensor, we consider general dielectric (e.g., glass) or metallic (e.g., gold) spherical shells immersed in a Gaussian optical beam. Our results show that TE and TM polarized Gaussian beams exert different amounts of optical force depending on the shell dimensions and material properties. We specifically show that purely dielectric shells do not experience different optical forces due to polarization differences but TM polarized beams exert higher optical force on metallic shells than equivalent TM polarized beams.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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