Optical trapping efficiencies from n-phase cylindrical vector beams

Brian J. Roxworthy, Kimani C. Toussaint

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We present the use of n - phase cylindrical vector beams in optical trapping. The vector beams are created via a Mach- Zehnder interferometer equipped with tunable phase plates, and the "n" prefix indicates the relative phase between the Hermite-Gaussian modes comprising the output beam. The optical trapping efficiency is measured via the Stokes drag force method for radial and azimuthal vector beams with n = 0 and π, giving a total of 4 unique input beams. Additionally, their trapping efficiencies are compared with that of a standard Gaussian input beam of equal input power. We find that the axial trapping efficiency can be optimized by increasing the amount of longitudinal (z) polarization at the focal plane of the trapping objective. Further, the lateral trapping efficiency is determined by the focal spot diameter, as expected, and can be similarly tuned by varying the relative phase between the vector beams' eigenmodes. The results suggest that cylindrical vector beams may be tuned such that both axial and lateral trapping efficiencies can be maximized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComplex Light and Optical Forces V
StatePublished - Mar 28 2011
EventComplex Light and Optical Forces V - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 26 2011Jan 27 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherComplex Light and Optical Forces V
CountryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA


  • Cylindrical vector beams
  • Diffraction theory
  • Laser trapping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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