2012 BFY Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Design and Characterization of an Optical Trap in the Advanced Lab
Abstract: Single beam gradient-force optical traps, or laser tweezers, are useful for manipulating small particles, molecules, and biological specimens like cells or bacteria.  In this Advanced Lab project, students designed and constructed an optical trap using a 532 nm laser with a measured power output of 34 mW, a 40x microscope objective, and various optical components.  They also designed a method to control the sample using a linear motorized stage and implemented a system for imaging the trapped particle using a digital microscope camera.  An optical trapping strength on the order of 0.1 pN was measured using 3 micron polystyrene spheres in a distilled water solution.  In making the trap strength measurements, two unexpected anomalies were encountered and subsequently studied -- asymmetric trapping strengths on opposite sides of the trap and the presence of multiple traps.  This project demonstrates the design, experimentation, and analysis process expected of students conducting a capstone laboratory project (i.e. the Advanced Lab "major project"); and it allows the students to reinforce and apply material learned in other courses, Optics in this case, in their Advanced Lab experience.
Abstract Type: Poster
Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Joseph Kozminski
Lewis University
Physics Department
One University Pkwy
Romeoville, IL 60446
Phone: 8158365393
and Co-Presenter(s)
Elizabeth DeWaard, Lewis University Physics Department, elizabethrdewaard -at- lewisu.edu
Marek Ziebinski, Lewis University Physics Department, marekziebinski -at- lewisu.edu
Chuck Crowder, Lewis University Physics Department, crowdech -at- lewisu.edu