Abstract

A single-beam gradient-force optical trap for dielectric particles, which relies solely on the radiation pressure force of a TEM00-mode laser light, is demonstrated in air for what is believed to be the first time. It was observed that micrometer-sized glass spheres with a refractive index of n=1.45 remained trapped in the focus region for more than 30  min, and we could transfer them three dimensionally by moving the beam focus and the microscope stage. A laser power of 40  mW was sufficient to trap a 5-µm-diameter glass sphere. The present method has several distinct advantages over the conventional optical levitation method.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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