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Optical Manipulation of Micro- and Nano-particles Using Evanescent Fields

Sergides, M; (2013) Optical Manipulation of Micro- and Nano-particles Using Evanescent Fields. Doctoral thesis (PhD), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

We present a study of the manipulation of micro-particles and the formation of optically bound structures of particles in evanescent wave traps. Two trapping geometries are considered: the first is a surface trap where the evanescent field above a glass prism is formed by the interference of a number of laser beams incident on the prism-water interface; the second uses the evanescent field surrounding a bi-conical tapered optical fibre that has been stretched to produce a waist of sub-micron diameter. In the surface trap we have observed the formation of optically bound one- and two-dimensional structures of particles and measured the binding spring constant by tracking particle motion and the extent of the particle’s Brownian fluctuations. Additionally, we have measured the inter-particle separations in the one-dimensional chain structures and characterised the geometry of the two-dimensional arrays. In the tapered optical fibre trap we demonstrated both particle transport for long distances along the fibre, and the formation of stable arrays of particles. We present the fabrication of tapered optical fibres using the 'heat-and-pull` technique, and evanescent wave optical binding of micro-particles to the taper. Calculations of the distribution of the evanescent field surrounding a tapered fibre are also presented. We show that the combination of modes can give control over the locations of the trapping sites. Additionally, we show how the plasmon resonance of metallic nano-particles can be exploited to enhance the optical trapping force, and suggest how a bi-chromatic nano-fibre trap for plasmonic particles may be implemented. In both experiments we implement video microscopy to track the particle locations and make quantitative measures of the particle dynamics. The experimental studies are complemented by light scattering calculations based on Mie theory to infer how the geometries of the particle structures are controlled by the underlying incident and scattered optical fields.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: PhD
Title: Optical Manipulation of Micro- and Nano-particles Using Evanescent Fields
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1410938
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