Abstract

An innovative optical system for trapping particles in air is presented. We demonstrate an optical system specifically optimized for high precision positioning of objects with a size of several micrometers within a nanopositioning and nanomeasuring machine (NPMM). Based on a specification sheet, an initial system design was calculated and optimized in an iterative design process. By combining optical design software with optical force simulation tools, a highly efficient optical system was developed. Both components of the system, which include a refractive double axicon and a parabolic ring mirror, were fabricated by ultra-precision turning. The characterization of the optical elements and the whole system, especially the force simulations based on caustic measurements, represent an important interim result for the subsequently performed trapping experiments. The caustic of the trapping beam produced by the system was visualized with the help of image processing techniques. Finally, we demonstrated the unique efficiency of the configuration by reproducibly trapping fused silica spheres with a diameter of 10 μm at a distance of 2.05 mm from the final optical surface.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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