Abstract

In this Letter, we demonstrate stable optical binding of spherical microparticles in counter-propagating evanescent optical fields formed by total reflection at a dielectric interface. The microspheres are observed to form one-dimensional chains oriented parallel to the direction of propagation of the beams. We characterize the strength of the optical binding interaction by measuring the extent of Brownian position fluctuations of the optically bound microspheres and relating this to a binding spring constant acting between adjacent particles. A stronger binding interaction is observed for particles near the middle of the chain, and the dependence of the binding strength on incident laser power and number of particles in the chain is determined.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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