Abstract

The use of optical tweezers to measure micrometer-resolution velocity fields in fluid flow is demonstrated as an extension of a scanning confocal viscosity microscope. This demonstration is achieved by detection of the motion of an optically trapped microsphere in an oscillating laser trap. The technique is validated by comparison with an independent video-based measurement and applied to obtain a two-dimensional map of the flow past a microscopic wedge. Since the velocity is measured simultaneously with the trap relaxation time, the technique requires no fluid-dependent calibration and is independent of the trap stiffness and the particle size.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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