Abstract

Optical dark traps such as Laguerre–Gaussian beams, modulated optical vortices, and high-order Bessel beams have been used in the micromanipulation of microparticles. Such optical traps are highly versatile, as they are able to trap both high- and low-index microparticles as well as to set them into rotation by use of the orbital angular momentum of light. Holography has been widely used to modulate the shape of an optical vortex for new optical traps. We show that, by designing the shape of a spiral phase plate and using electron-beam lithography for fabrication, one can modulate the amplitude and the phase of an optical vortex with respect to the specific shape of the spiral phase plate as required. Furthermore, to the best of our knowledge this is the first report of transferring orbital angular momentum from a spiral phase plate to an absorptive microparticle in an experiment. Hence, with this technique, optical dark traps can easily be designed and fabricated.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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