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Phys Rev Lett. 2012 Oct 19;109(16):163903. Epub 2012 Oct 18.

Optical conveyors: a class of active tractor beams.

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


We experimentally demonstrate a class of tractor beams created by coherently superposing coaxial Bessel beams. These optical conveyors have periodic intensity variations along their axes that act as highly effective optical traps for micrometer-scale objects. Trapped objects can be moved selectively upstream or downstream along the conveyor by appropriately changing the Bessel beams' relative phase. The same methods used to project a single optical conveyor can project arrays of independent optical conveyors, allowing bidirectional transport in three dimensions.

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