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3D optical trapping by a tightly focused circular airy beam

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Abstract

In this Letter, we report on the experimental investigation of three-dimensional (3D) optical trapping by a tightly focused circular Airy beam (CAB). We compare the trapping strength of the beam for 800 nm polystyrene particles, with two equivalent Gaussian beams of the same envelope (SEGB) and the same spot-size (SSGB). Through video microscopy, we found that SEGB is incapable of forming a 3D trap, and particles are pushed along the beam propagation direction, while SSGB and CAB could form stable 3D traps. Measurements of trap stiffness revealed that although both beams have similar lateral trap stiffnesses, interestingly CAB has a 6.6-fold stronger axial trap, owning to its autofocusing nature. Furthermore, we found that trap stiffness at various trapping depths is nearly constant for CAB, in contrast with the Gaussian beam, implying that CAB is robust against spherical aberration.

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Supplementary Material (3)

NameDescription
Visualization 1       Visualization 1 shows that the particles are pushed towards the focal spot of the CAB and eventually trapped firmly in three dimensions.
Visualization 2       Visualization 2 shows that the particles approach the focal spot created by SEGB and are then pushed forward in the direction of the beam propagation.
Visualization 3       Visualization 3 shows that the particles are pushed towards the focal spot of the CAB and the SSGB and eventually trapped firmly in three dimensions.

Data availability

Data underlying the results presented in this Letter are not publicly available at this time but may be obtained from the authors upon reasonable request.

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Figures (5)

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