Characterising Conical Refraction Optical Tweezers

Craig McDonald, Craig McDougall, Edik Rafailov, David McGloin

Research output: Working paperPreprint


Conical refraction occurs when a beam of light travels through an appropriately cut biaxial crystal. By focussing the conically refracted beam through a high numerical aperture microscope objective, conical refraction optical tweezers can be created, allowing for particle manipulation in both Raman spots and in the Lloyd/Poggendorff rings. We present a thorough quantification of the trapping properties of such a beam, focussing on the trap stiffness and how this varies with trap power and trapped particle location. We show that the lower Raman spot can be thought of as a single-beam optical gradient force trap, while radiation pressure dominates in the upper Raman spot, leading to optical levitation rather than trapping. Particles in the Lloyd/Poggendorff rings experience a lower trap stiffness than particles in the lower Raman spot but benefit from rotational control.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 29 Aug 2014


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