Abstract

Nonconservative optical forces acting on dipolar particles are considered in longitudinally invariant optical fields. We demonstrate that the orientation of these forces is strictly dictated by the propagation vector associated with such field configurations. As a direct consequence of this, it is impossible to achieve a reversal of optical forces in homogeneous media. We show instead that translation invariant optical tractor fields can in fact be generated in the negative index environment produced in a special class of fully dielectric waveguide arrays.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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