Optical travelator: transport and dynamic sorting of colloidal microspheres with an asymmetrical line optical tweezers
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- Cheong, F., Sow, C., Wee, A. et al. Appl. Phys. B (2006) 83: 121. doi:10.1007/s00340-006-2139-8
We report the transport, funnelling and dynamic sorting of colloidal microspheres in an aqueous suspension using line optical tweezers with asymmetrical intensity profiles. The line tweezers readily trapped and propelled the microspheres along the length of the line tweezers. Using this simple technique, transporting and funnelling of microspheres within a microscopic region were demonstrated. To illustrate the dynamic particle-sorting capability of the line tweezers, a binary colloidal system comprising of microspheres with diameters of 1.1 μm and 3.2 μm were driven past the line tweezers by electrophoresis. As the optical trapping force is dependent on the size of the microspheres, the line tweezers was able to change the path of the larger spheres while exerting little influence on the smaller spheres thus sorting the two types of microspheres. At optimized laser power and flow rate of microspheres, sorting efficiency greater than 90% has been achieved.