Line optical tweezers as controllable micromachines: techniques and emerging trends


Shen, Y. ; Weitz, D. A. ; Forde, N. R. ; Shayegan, M. Line optical tweezers as controllable micromachines: techniques and emerging trends. Soft Matter 2022, 18, 5359-5365. Copy at
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In the past three decades, the technology of optical tweezers has made significant contributions in various scientific areas, including optics, photonics, and nanosciences. Breakthroughs include manipulating particles in both static and dynamic ways, particle sorting, and constructing controllable micromachines. Advances in shaping and controlling the laser beam profile enable control over the position and location of the trap, which has many possible applications. A line optical tweezer (LOT) can be created by rapidly moving a spot optical tweezer using a tool such as a galvanometer mirror or an acousto-optic modulator. By manipulating the intensity profile along the beam line to be asymmetric or non-uniform, the technique can be adapted to various specific applications. Among the many exciting applications of line optical tweezers, in this work, we discuss in detail applications of LOT, including probing colloidal interactions, transporting and sorting of colloidal microspheres, self-propelled motions, trapping anisotropic particles, exploring colloidal interactions at fluid-fluid interfaces, and building optical thermal ratchets. We further discuss prospective applications in each of these areas of soft matter, including polymeric and biological soft materials.

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