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Phys Rev Lett. 2003 Apr 4;90(13):133901. Epub 2003 Apr 3.

Structure of optical vortices.

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  • 1Department of Physics, James Franck Institute, Institute for Biophysical Dynamics, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.


Helical modes of light can be focused into toroidal optical traps known as optical vortices, which are capable of localizing and applying torques to small volumes of matter. Measurements of optical vortices created with the dynamic holographic optical tweezer technique reveal an unsuspected dependence of their structure and angular momentum flux on their helicity. These measurements also provide evidence for a novel optical ratchet potential in practical optical vortices.

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