Abstract

We report a comprehensive process for designing and prototyping new and optimized optical trapping systems. A combination of traditional lens design strategies, simulation of optical forces, and high-end ultraprecision machining of optical free-form surfaces is applied to the realization of a highly specialized optical trapping system. The resulting compact and lightweight optical modules potentially open new classes of applications for optical manipulation. As an example we present a customized 3D trapping module made of a single piece of polymethylmethacrylate, with a large working distance of 650μm.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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