Optical Tweezers

Lasers can be used to apply forces to microscopic particles, affording a non-contact method for manipulation of matter. Optical tweezers utilize a tightly focused laser beam to confine a particle in three dimensions. Thermal gradients (generated by heating a thin layer of gold with a laser) can induce the formation of colloidal crystals, which can act as an analogue of nanocrystal growth. We use optical tweezers to control the growth and learn about interactions.

 

Back to Optical Manipulation.