Orbital-angular-momentum transfer to optically levitated microparticles in vacuum

Michael Mazilu, Yoshihiko Arita, Tom Vettenburg, Juan Miguel Aunon-Garcia, Ewan Malcolm Wright, Kishan Dholakia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


We demonstrate the transfer of orbital angular momentum to an optically levitated microparticle in vacuum. The microparticle is placed within a Laguerre-Gaussian beam and orbits the annular beam profile with increasing angular velocity as the air drag coefficient is reduced. We explore the particle dynamics as a function of the topological charge of the levitating beam. Our results reveal that there is a fundamental limit to the orbital angular momentum that may be transferred to a trapped particle, dependent upon the beam parameters and inertial forces present.
Original languageEnglish
Article number053821
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review. A, Atomic, molecular, and optical physics
Issue number5
Early online date11 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016


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