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Phys Rev Lett. 2008 Jan 11;100(1):013602. Epub 2008 Jan 8.

Optical forces arising from phase gradients.

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  • 1Department of Physics and Center for Soft Matter Research, New York University, New York, NY 10003, USA.


We demonstrate both theoretically and experimentally that phase gradients in a light field can be used to create a new category of optical traps complementary to the more familiar intensity-gradient traps known as optical tweezers. We further show that the work done by phase-gradient forces is path dependent and briefly discuss some ramifications of this nonconservativity.

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