Abstract

We use laser beams with radial and azimuthal polarization to optically trap carbon nanotubes. We measure force constants and trap parameters as a function of power showing improved axial trapping efficiency with respect to linearly polarized beams. The analysis of the thermal fluctuations highlights a significant change in the optical trapping potential when using cylindrical vector beams. This enables the use of polarization states to shape optical traps according to the particle geometry, as well as paving the way to nanoprobe-based photonic force microscopy with increased performance compared to a standard linearly polarized configuration.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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