Ultra sensitive force spectroscopy measurement of single particle light scattering by the use of optical tweezers

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(D. V. Nicolau, J. Enderlein, R. C. Leif, D. L. Farkas, & R. Raghavachari, Eds.) Imaging, Manipulation, and Analysis of Biomolecules and Cells. 1000 20TH ST, PO BOX 10, BELLINGHAM, WA 98227-0010 USA: SPIE-INT SOC OPTICAL ENGINEERING (2005) .

D VNicolauJEnderleinR CLeifD LFarkasRRaghavachariSPIE-INT SOC OPTICAL ENGINEERING

Abstract

Optical tweezers (OT) rely on the radiation pressure to trap and manipulate microscopic particles and living microorganisms. Because the optical forces vary from hundreds of femto to tens of pico Newtons, OT can be used as an ultra sensitive force measurement tool to study interactions involving very small forces. We use a double tweezers to perform ultra sensitive measurement of the force due to the scattering of light as a function of its wavelength, in other words, to perform a Force Spectroscopy. Our results show not only the Mie resonances but also a selective coupling to either the TE, TM or both microsphere modes using the light polarization and the beam positioning. Mie resonances have usually been observed by scattering measurements. Very few reports of levitation experiments observed these resonances directly through the force. The double tweezers system has the advantage and flexibility of a stable restorative force measurement system. The experimental results show excellent agreement with Gaussian shaped beam partial wave decomposition theory. The understanding of the optical scattering forces in dielectric microspheres under different incident beam conditions is important as they have been used as the natural force transducer for mechanical measurements. Our results show how careful one has to be when using optical force models for this purpose. The Mie resonances can change the force values by 30-50 %. Also the results clearly show how the usually assumed azimuthal symmetry in the horizontal plane no longer holds because the beam polarization breaks this symmetry.



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