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Appl Opt. 2004 Jul 10;43(20):3999-4006.

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

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 7-104 Biological Sciences Biomedical Engineering, 312 Church Street S.E., Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, USA.


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 beta 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 radiation-force-based systems.

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