Optical forces arising from phase gradients

David G. Grier, B. Sun, F. C. Cheong, Y. Roichman, S. H. Lee, Y. Roichman, J. Amato-Grill

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Optical traps use forces exerted by specially structured beams of light to localize microscopic objects in three dimensions. In the case of single-beam optical traps, such as optical tweezers, trapping is due entirely to gradients in the light's intensity. Gradients in the light field's phase also control optical forces, however, and their quite general influence on trapped particles' dynamics has only recently been explored in detail. We demonstrate both theoretically and experimentally how phase gradients give rise to forces in optical traps and explore the sometimes surprising influence of phase-gradient forces on trapped objects' motions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number72270E
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2009
EventComplex Light and Optical Forces III - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: 28 Jan 200929 Jan 2009


  • Holographic optical trapping
  • Holographic particle tracking
  • Holographic video microscopy
  • Lorenz-Mie theory
  • Optical forces
  • Optical tweezers
  • Statistical physics
  • Stochastic machines


Dive into the research topics of 'Optical forces arising from phase gradients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this