The holographic optical micro-manipulation system based on counter-propagating beams

Tomas Cizmar, Oto Brzobohaty, Kishan Dholakia, Pavel Zemanek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Citations (Scopus)


We present a system employing a dynamic diffractive optical element to control properties of two counter-propagating beams overlapping within a sample chamber. This system allows us to eliminate optical aberrations along both beam pathways and arbitrarily switch between various numbers of laser beams and their spatial profiles (i.e. Gaussian, Laguerre-Gaussian, Bessel beams, etc.). We successfully tested various counter-propagating dual-beam configurations including optical manipulation of both high and low index particles in water or air, particle delivery in an optical conveyor belt and the formation of colloidal solitons by optical binding. Furthermore, we realized a novel optical mixer created by particles spiraling in counter-propagating interfering optical vortices and a new tool for optical tomography or localized spectroscopy enabling sterile contactless rotation and reorientation of a trapped living cell.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-56
Number of pages7
JournalLaser Physics Letters
Issue number1
Early online date4 Nov 2010
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


  • holographic optical trapping; dual beam trap; spatial light modulator; optical rotator


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