Welcome to the website for the Optical Manipulation Group at the University of St Andrews

The Optical Manipulation Group, based in the School of Physics & Astronomy, works in a variety of research areas of optical physics and biophysics.  Our research is focused on the development of optical micromanipulation techniques, the investigation of novel light fields, the characterisation of particle dynamics (at the atomic, nano, and micron scale) in optical light fields and the exploration of novel optical imaging techniques for biology and medicine.  The group is headed by Kishan Dholakia, and consists of an international mixture of multi-disciplinary research staff and PhD students.

Our research is presently funded by a number of sources, including the UK EPSRC, the European Union Framework 7 programme, the EU Horizon 2020 Programme and the Leverhulme Trust.

Recent research highlights

Random precision

Random speckle patterns allow the most accurate determination of a laser’s wavelength to date.

Read the article in Nature Communications.

Slow light speeds up the microscopic world

Slowing light down in specially designed photonic crystals increases the optical force exerted on microparticles.

Read the article in Optica.

Light-sheet imaging the Airy way

Single photon light-sheet imaging with an Airy beam offers advantages for biomedical research.

Research article in Nature Methods.

600_rotation_150x150Guinness Book of World Records 2015

Our recent work in Nature Communications demonstrates the realisation of the World’s fastest man-made spinning object by rotating an optically levitated microsphere at 600 million rpm.

Check out the record at Guinness World Records.