Abstract

Counterpropagating light fields provide a stationary optical potential well for a Brownian particle. Introducing variability in the relative strengths of the counterpropagating beams allows us to create a more general configuration—the optical elevator. An optical elevator dynamically controls the axial location of the potential minimum where the particle finds a stable equilibrium position. We describe the implementation of multiple real-time reconfigurable optical elevators with the generalized phase contrast method for dynamic manipulation of polystyrene spheres and yeast cells S. cerevisiae in three dimensions.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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