Optical binding of two microparticles levitated in vacuum

Yoshihiko Arita, Ewan M Wright, Kishan Dholakia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Optical binding refers to an optically mediated inter-particle interaction that creates new equilibrium positions for closely spaced particles [1-5]. Optical binding of mesoscopic particles levitated in vacuum can pave the way towards the realisation of a large scale quantum bound array in cavity-optomechanics [6-9]. Recently we have demonstrated trapping and rotation of two mesoscopic particles in vacuum using a spatial-light-modulator-based approach to trap more than one particle, induce controlled rotation of individual particles, and mediate interparticle separation [10]. By trapping and rotating two vaterite particles, we observe intensity modulation of the scattered light at the sum and difference frequencies with respect to the individual rotation rates. This first demonstration of optical interference between two microparticles in vacuum has lead to a platform to explore optical binding. Here we demonstrate for the first time optically bound two microparticles mediated by light scattering in vacuum. We investigate autocorrelations between the two normal modes of oscillation, which are determined by the centre-of-mass and the relative positions of the two-particle system. In situ determination of the optical restoring force acting on the bound particles are based on measurement of the oscillation frequencies of the autocorrelation functions of the two normal modes, thereby providing a powerful and original platform to explore multiparticle entanglement in cavity-optomechanics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOptical Manipulation Conference
EditorsRyuji Morita, Takashige Omatsu
ISBN (Electronic)9781510610057
StatePublished - 2017
EventOptical Manipulation Conference 2017 - Yokohama, Japan
Duration: Apr 19 2017Apr 21 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherOptical Manipulation Conference 2017


  • Cavity-optomechanics
  • Levitated optomechanics
  • Optical binding
  • Quantum friction
  • Spin angular momentum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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