Experimental Measurement and Analysis of Scattering Force and Gradient Force in Optical Trapping and Manipulation of Micro-particles
Optical trapping and manipulation of micro-particles have received more and more attention in recent years due to their potential biological applications. Aside from serving as a tool, popularly known as optical tweezers, for non-contact and non-invasive controlled manipulation of biological samples, such as cells, bacteria, and organelles, the measurement of forces between biological samples (on the order of pico-newtons) is an important application. For such applications, optical forces on micro-particles have to be measured and calibrated. I begin with a brief introduction to the nature of optical forces on micro-particles, followed by a discussion of optical forces involved in various trapping configurations, and their measurement, along with some preliminary experimental results. The merits and the technical issues associated with these approaches are also discussed briefly.
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