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Speckle optical tweezers: Micromanipulation with random light fields

Journal article
Authors Giorgio Volpe
Lisa Kurz
Agnese Callegari
Giovanni Volpe
Sylvain Gigan
Published in Optics Express
Volume 22
Pages 18159-18167
Publication year 2014
Published at
Pages 18159-18167
Language en
Subject categories Physical Sciences

Abstract

Current optical manipulation techniques rely on carefully engineered setups and samples. Although similar conditions are routinely met in research laboratories, it is still a challenge to manipulate microparticles when the environment is not well controlled and known a priori, since optical imperfections and scattering limit the applicability of this technique to real-life situations, such as in biomedical or microfluidic applications. Nonetheless, scattering of coherent light by disordered structures gives rise to speckles, random diffraction patterns with welldefined statistical properties. Here, we experimentally demonstrate how speckle fields can become a versatile tool to efficiently perform fundamental optical manipulation tasks such as trapping, guiding and sorting. We anticipate that the simplicity of these "speckle optical tweezers" will greatly broaden the perspectives of optical manipulation for real-life applications. © 2014 Optical Society of America.

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