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Acousto-holographic optical tweezers

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Abstract

Acousto-optic deflectors (AODs) allow the creation of multiple optical traps by time-sharing, that is, by rapidly cycling the laser focus between designated spatial locations. The traps thus formed are not permanent. In this Letter, we successfully demonstrate the creation of multiple and permanent traps by means of AODs driven by specially encoded radio frequency signals. The generation of complex acoustic signals allows us to treat such devices as super-fast spatial light modulators. Using this technique, it is possible to generate several static optical trap arrays and switch them at kilohertz (kHz) rates, allowing independent control of each trap group. Additionally, we discuss the compatibility of this method with precise force and position measurements, and the improvement in their frequency bandwidth compared to time-sharing optical tweezers, especially when many objects are trapped.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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