We describe the design and construction of two different types of multiple-beam optical tweezers, each equipped with nanometer-resolution position detectors. Multiple optical traps can be created either by splitting a laser beam in two parts, based on its polarization, or time-sharing a single beam among several different locations. The advantages and disadvantages of optical tweezers based on either scheme are discussed, along with details of specific implementations. Various ways to detect microscopic movements of an optically trapped object are presented and compared, including designs that are relatively insensitive to absolute location of a trapped particle within the field of view. Two of many possible applications for such instruments are illustrated: the detection of molecular steps by kinesin motor molecules, and determinations of the stiffness of single microtubules.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||IEEE Journal on Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics|
|State||Published - Dec 1996|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering