Visualization of optical binding of microparticles using a femtosecond fiber optical trap

N. K. Metzger, E. M. Wright, W. Sibbett, K. Dholakia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


At the microscopic level, light-matter interactions can organize colloidal matter via a process known as optical binding. Optical binding refers to the creation of arrays of microparticles formed in the presence of laser fields, the inter-particle spacing being determined by the refocusing and/or scattering of the laser fields by the microparticles. In this paper we investigate one-dimensional optically bound arrays of microparticles using a femtosecond dual-beam optical fiber trap, and develop a means to visualize the field intensity distributions responsible for the optical binding using two-photon fluoresence imaging from fluorescein added to the host medium. The experimental intensity distributions are shown to be in good agreement with numerical simulations, thereby validating our new approach to visualizing the fields responsible for optical binding, and the physical model of optical binding as due to refocusing of the fields by the microparticles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3677-3687
Number of pages11
JournalOptics Express
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 17 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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