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Appl Opt. 2004 Apr 1;43(10):1991-5.

Improved axial position detection in optical tweezers measurements.

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Niels Bohr Institute, Blegdamsvej 17, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark.


We investigate the axial position detection of a trapped microsphere in an optical trap by using a quadrant photodiode. By replacing the photodiode with a CCD camera, we obtain detailed information on the light scattered by the microsphere. The correlation of the interference pattern with the axial position displays complex behavior with regions of positive and negative interference. By analyzing the scattered light intensity as a function of the axial position of the trapped sphere, we propose a simple method to increase the sensitivity and control the linear range of axial position detection.

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