Dynamics of microparticles trapped in a perfect vortex beam

M. Chen, M. Mazilu, Y. Arita, E. M. Wright, and K. Dholakia

Optics Letters 38(22), 4919-4922 (2013)

doi: 10.1364/OL.38.004919

We analyze microparticle dynamics within a “perfect” vortex beam. In contrast to other vortex fields, for any given integer value of the topological charge, a “perfect” vortex beam has the same annular intensity profile with fixed radius of peak intensity. For a given topological charge, the field possesses a well-defined orbital angular momentum density at each point in space, invariant with respect to azimuthal position. We experimentally create a perfect vortex and correct the field in situ, to trap and set in motion trapped microscopic particles. For a given topological charge, a single trapped particle exhibits the same local angular velocity moving in such a field independent of its azimuthal position. We also investigate particle dynamics in “perfect” vortex beams of fractional topological charge. This light field may be applied for novel studies in optical trapping of particles, atoms, and quantum gases.