Experimental characterization and modeling of optical tweezer particle handling dynamics

MD Porter and B Giera and RM Panas and LA Shaw and M Shusteff and JB Hopkins, APPLIED OPTICS, 57, 6565-6571 (2018).

DOI: 10.1364/AO.57.006565

We report a new framework for a quantitative understanding of optical trapping (OT) particle handling dynamics. We present a novel three- dimensional particle-based model that includes optical, hydrodynamic, and interparticle forces. This semi-empirical colloid model is based on an open-source simulation code known as LAMMPS (large-scale atomic/molecular massively parallel simulator) and properly recapitulates the full OT force profile beyond the typical linear approximations valid near the trap center. Simulations are carried out with typical system parameters relevant for our experimental holographic optical trapping (HOT) system, including varied particle sizes, trap movement speeds, and beam powers. Furthermore, we present a new experimental method for measuring both the stable and metastable boundaries of the optical force profile to inform or validate the model's underlying force profile. We show that our framework is a powerful tool for accurately predicting particle behavior in a practical experimental OT setup and can be used to characterize and predict particle handling dynamics within any arbitrary OT force profile. (C) 2018 Optical Society of America

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