Single-beam trapping of micro-beads in polarized light: Numerical simulations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Using numerical solutions of Maxwell's equations in conjunction with the Lorentz law of force, we compute the electromagnetic force distribution in and around a dielectric micro-sphere trapped by a focused laser beam. Dependence of the optical trap's stiffness on the polarization state of the incident beam is analyzed for particles suspended in air or immersed in water, under conditions similar to those realized in practical optical tweezers. A comparison of the simulation results with available experimental data reveals the merit of one physical model relative to two competing models; the three models arise from different interpretations of the same physical picture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3660-3676
Number of pages17
JournalOptics Express
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 17 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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