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Optically driven micromachine elements

Journal article
Authors M. E. J. Friese
H. Rubinsztein-Dunlop
Julie Gold
Petter Hagberg
Dag Hanstorp
Published in Applied Physics Letters
Volume 78
Issue 4
Pages 547-549
ISSN 0003-6951
Publication year 2001
Published at Department of Physics (GU)
Pages 547-549
Language en
Keywords angular-momentum, particles, alignment, spin
Subject categories Optical physics, Nano Technology


We report on a proof of principle demonstration of an optically driven micromachine element. Optical angular momentum is transferred from a circularly polarized laser beam to a birefringent particle confined in an optical tweezers trap. The optical torque causes the particle to spin at up to 350 Hz, and this torque is harnessed to drive an optically trapped microfabricated structure. We describe a photolithographic method for producing the microstructures and show how a light driven motor could be used in a micromachine system.

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