Optical Conveyors: A Class of Active Tractor Beams

Condensed Matter journal club

Optical Conveyors: A Class of Active Tractor Beams

  • Event time: 11:30am
  • Event date: 16th November 2012
  • Speaker: Alexander McVey (Formerly School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Edinburgh)
  • Location: Room 2511,

Event details


We experimentally demonstrate a class of tractor beams created by coherently superposing coaxial Bessel beams. These optical conveyors have periodic intensity variations along their axes that act as highly effective optical traps for micrometer-scale objects. Trapped objects can be moved selectively upstream or downstream along the conveyor by appropriately changing the Bessel beams' relative phase. The same methods used to project a single optical conveyor can project arrays of independent optical conveyors, allowing bidirectional transport in three dimensions.
PRL 109 article 163903 (2012)
pdf version of paper


David B. Ruffner and David G. Grier

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Given the diversity of research in the CM group, chosen topics vary widely. We tend to stick to high-impact journals - Nature, Science, PNAS and PRL have been popular - but this is not prescriptive..

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