Optical trapping and manipulation typically relies on shaping focused light to control the optical force, usually on spherical objects. However, one can also shape the object to control the light deflection arising from the light-matter interaction and, hence, achieve desired optomechanical effects. In this work we look into the object shaping aspect and its potential for controlled optical manipulation. Using a simple bent waveguide as example, our numerical simulations show that the guided deflection of light efficiently converts incident light momentum into optical force with one order-of-magnitude improvement in the efficiency factor relative to a microbead, which is comparable to the improvement expected from orthogonal deflection with a perfect mirror. This improvement is illustrated in proof-of-principle experiments demonstrating the optical manipulation of two-photon polymerized waveguides. Results show that the force on the waveguide exceeds the combined forces on spherical trapping handles. Furthermore, it shows that static illumination can exert a constant force on a moving structure, unlike the position-dependent forces from harmonic potentials in conventional trapping.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics