Abstract

We report on optical levitation and manipulation of microscopic particles that are stuck on a glass surface with pulsed optical tweezers. An infrared pulse laser at 1.06μm was used to generate a large gradient force (up to 109N) within a short duration (45μs) that overcomes the adhesive interaction between the particles and the glass surface. Then a low-power continuous-wave diode laser at 785nm was used to capture and manipulate the levitated particle. We have demonstrated that both stuck dielectric and biological micrometer-sized particles, including polystyrene beads, yeast cells, and Bacillus cereus bacteria, can be levitated and manipulated with this technique. We measured the single-pulse levitation efficiency for 2.0μm polystyrene beads as a function of the pulse energy and of the axial displacement from the stuck particle to the pulsed laser focus, which was as high as 88%.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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