Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci. 2006 Dec 15;364(1849):3521-37.

Optical tweezers: 20 years on.

Author information

  • 1School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St Andrews North Haugh, St Andrews KY16 9SS, UK.


In 1986, Arthur Ashkin and colleagues published a seminal paper in Optics Letters, 'Observation of a single-beam gradient force optical trap for dielectric particles' which outlined a technique for trapping micrometre-sized dielectric particles using a focused laser beam, a technology which is now termed optical tweezers. This paper will provide a background in optical manipulation technologies and an overview of the applications of optical tweezers. It contains some recent work on the optical manipulation of aerosols and concludes with a critical discussion of where the future might lead this maturing technology.

Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk