Dimensionless parameters for the design of optical traps and laser guidance systems

Yaakov K. Nahmias, Bruce Zhi Gao, David J Odde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Optical traps are routinely used for the manipulation of neutral particles. However, optical trap design is limited by the lack of an accurate theory. The generalized Lorenz-Mie theory (GLMT) solves the scattering problem for arbitrary particle size and predicts radial forces accurately. Here we show that the GLMT predicts the observed radial and axial forces in a variety of optical manipulators. We also present a dimensionless parameter β for the prediction of axial forces. Coupled with our correlation for radial escape forces, we now have a set of two simple correlations for the practical design of radiationforce-based systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3999-4006
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Optics
Issue number20
StatePublished - Jul 10 2004
Externally publishedYes

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