Direct observation of the transfer of orbital angular momentum to metal particles from a focused circularly polarized Gaussian beam

Yiqiong Zhao*, David Shapiro, David McGloin, Daniel T. Chiu, Stefano Marchesini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

It is well known that a circularly polarized Gaussian beam carries spin angular momentum, but not orbital angular momentum. This paper demonstrates that focusing a beam carrying spin angular momentum can induce an orbital angular momentum which we used to drive the orbital motion of a micron-sized metal particle that is trapped off the beam axis. The direction of the orbital motion is controlled by the handedness of the circular polarization. The orbiting dynamics of the trapped particle, which acted as an optical micro-detector, were quantitatively measured and found to be in excellent agreement with the theoretical predictions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23316-23322
Number of pages7
JournalOptics Express
Volume17
Issue number25
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2009

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