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Opt Lett. 2008 Sep 1;33(17):2017-9.

Spring constant modulation in a zone plate tweezer using linear polarization.

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  • 1School of Engineering and Applied Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.


At large NAs a micro-Fresnel zone plate produces a focal spot that is more elliptical than that produced by an objective lens with the same NA. Using this anisotropy we demonstrate a method for modulating the spring constant of an optical trap by rotating the linear input polarization. The focal spot ellipticity is enhanced by the apodization factor of the zone plate and its extremely high NA. By measuring the positions of trapped particles we obtain two-dimensional histograms of particle position. These indicate that the trap spring constant is 2.75 times larger perpendicular to the incident polarization than along it. The elliptical focal spot distribution can be rotated by rotating the incident polarization, allowing the spring constant along a given direction to be modulated.

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