An optical trapped gripper for manipulating micron-sized particles

Graham Gibson*, Louise Barron, Fiona Beck, Graeme Whyte, Miles Padgett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)


Optical tweezers use the electric-field gradient-force associated with tightly focused laser beams to trap micron-sized objects at the beam focus. Over the last few years optical tweezers have been revolutionized by the addition of spatial light modulators to split the laser beam into many traps that can be individually controlled; a technique called holographic optical tweezers. However, the reliance of optical tweezers on the gradient-force largely restricts their application to transparent objects that are not unduly sensitive to the effects of the laser light. Consequently, the manipulation of metallic particles or sensitive biomaterials can be problematic. In this work we use a holographic tweezers to position multiple silica beads acting as an optical gripper to lift, rotate and move micron-sized objects that otherwise do not lend themselves to tweezers control. We illustrate the use of the optical gripper under real-time joystick control to manipulate micron-sized metallic particles with nano-scale precision.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOptical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation III
ISBN (Print)0819464058, 9780819464057
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sept 2006
EventSPIE Optics + Photonics 2006 - San Diego, United States
Duration: 13 Aug 200617 Aug 2006

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceSPIE Optics + Photonics 2006
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • Holographic tweezers
  • Optical tweezers
  • Spatial light modulators

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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