Optical trapping of dielectric particles by a single-beam gradient force trap was demonstrated for the first reported time. This confirms the concept of negative light pressure due to the gradient force. Trapping was observed over the entire range of particle size from 10 μm to ~25 nm in water. Use of the new trap extends the size range of macroscopic particles accessible to optical trapping and manipulation well into the Rayleigh size regime. Application of this trapping principle to atom trapping is considered.
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