Optically driven micromachine elements

Friese, M. E. J.; Rubinsztein-Dunlop, H.; Gold, J.; Hagberg, P.; Hanstorp, D.
January 2001
Applied Physics Letters;1/22/2001, Vol. 78 Issue 4, p547
Academic Journal
We report on a proof of principle demonstration of an optically driven micromachine element. Optical angular momentum is transferred from a circularly polarized laser beam to a birefringent particle confined in an optical tweezers trap. The optical torque causes the particle to spin at up to 350 Hz, and this torque is harnessed to drive an optically trapped microfabricated structure. We describe a photolithographic method for producing the microstructures and show how a light driven motor could be used in a micromachine system.


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