Dynamics of a levitated microparticle in vacuum trapped by a perfect vortex beam: three-dimensional motion around a complex optical potential

Yoshihiko Arita, Mingzhou Chen, Ewan Malcolm Wright, Kishan Dholakia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

We trap a single silica microparticle in a complex three dimensional optical potential with orbital angular momentum in vacuum. The potential is formed by the generation of a ``perfect vortex' in vacuum which, upon propagation, evolves to a Bessel light field. The optical gradient and scattering forces interplay with the inertial and gravitational forces acting on the trapped particle, including the rotational degrees of freedom. As a result the particle undergoes a complex trajectory, part of which is rotational motion in the plane of the "perfect vortex". As the particle explores the whole three dimensional volume and not solely restricted to one anchor point, we are able to determine the three dimensional optical potential in situ by tracking the particle. This represents the first demonstration of trapping a microparticle within a complex three dimensional optical potential in vacuum. This may open up new perspectives in levitated optomechanics with particle dynamics on complex trajectories.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)C14-C19
JournalJournal of the Optical Society of America B : Optical Physics
Volume34
Issue number6
Early online date26 Apr 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017

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