Optical tweezers
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Optical Tweezers. rolf. Project Goals. We will calibrate the strength of an optical trap (Optical Tweezer) Optical Tweezers may be used to measure very small forces (femtoNewton, 10 -15 N) Applications include Biophysics. Description.

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Optical Tweezers

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Optical Tweezers

rolf


Project Goals

  • We will calibrate the strength of an optical trap (Optical Tweezer)

  • Optical Tweezers may be used to measure very small forces (femtoNewton, 10-15N)

  • Applications include Biophysics


Description

  • A laser beam is expanded and collimated. This collimated beam is directed through a microscope objective into a flow cell. Spheres with a higher index of refraction than the medium in the cell (water) will be trapped at the focus of the beam.


Trapping a particle with light


Optical trapping of dielectric spheres

  • Force due to refraction is always toward the focus


What about reflection?


Dual beam tweezer design


Dual-beam Tweezers are nice

  • But we aren’t going to make one.

  • Dual beam instruments are more complicated and difficult to align and have at least twice the equipment investment (2 objectives, 2 lasers, etc.

  • So we are building a single-beam tweezer.


Laser line mirror

Laser

Beam expander

Cell

White Light Source

CCD

CCD

Objective

Laser line mirror

Color Filter

Tip

Schematic diagram


Full view


Side view


Top view


Room light


Laser light


Flow cell


In the flow cell

  • We apply a force to the trapped sphere by flowing water through the cell. This force is dependent on radius r, viscosity η, and velocity v of the water.

  • Within the limits of the strength of the trap, the sphere remains trapped, but undergoes a displacement under the influence of this external force just like a mass on a spring.


Apply a known force

  • If a known force is applied, and the displacement is measured, the ‘stiffness’ of the optical trap may be determined.


Viscosity, velocity

  • Viscosity is a function of temperature, which we will measure.

  • Velocity of the fluid flow through the cell will be derived by dimensions of the cell, and may also be directly measured by displacement vs. time of spheres traveling through the flow cell with the trap inactive.


Velocity as a function of Δh

  • We will take measurements of flow rate and displacement as a function of time at a range of heights in order to determine v as a function of Δh.


Putting it all together

  • With the data we will collect, we can determine the stiffness of the trap.

  • This determined, we could, in future experiments, determine the tiny forces involved in biological processes. For example, the overstretchng transition of DNA:


Overstretching transition of DNA

  • http://www.atsweb.neu.edu/mark/opticaltweezersmovies.html


Team/Resources

  • Our team:

    • People: Rolf Karlstad and Joe Peterson

    • Equipment: 633 nm laser, microscope objective, CCD camera, dichroic mirrors, white light source, optical table and various optical elements

    • Where: Physics 66

    • Advisor: Kurt Wick

    • Cell created in student shop


Schedule


Current Status

  • High-level overview of progress against schedule

    • On-track !

    • Leak fixing cell

    • Apparatus built, flow cell built, working out minor issues


Project Goals repeated

  • We will calibrate the strength of an optical trap (Optical Tweezer)

  • Optical Tweezers may be used to measure very small forces (femtoNewton, 10-15N)


References

  • K. Dholakia, P. Reece. Optical micromanipulation takes hold. Nano Today, Volume 1, Number 1. February 2006.

  • Mark C. Williams. Optical Tweezers: Measuring Piconewton Forces. Previously published in Biophysics Textbook Online. Available at: http://www.biophysics.org/education/williams.pdf

  • K. Dholakia, G. Spalding, M. MacDonald. Optical tweezers: the next generation. Physics World, October 2002.

  • B. Tuominen, R .Hoglund. Optical Tweezers. May 2005. At the time of writing available at the MXP website: http://mxp.physics.umn.edu/s05/Projects/S05Tweezer/

  • Kurt Wick. University of Minnesota. Minneapolis, MN. February 2006. Private Conversation.

  • Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 80th edition. CRC Press, Florida. Pg 6-3. 1999.

  • Mark C. Williams. Northeastern University, Boston, MA. January 2006. Private correspondence.


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