Studies of novel beam shapes and applications to optical manipulation
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In this thesis an investigation into novel beams and optical manipulation is presented. Sculpting the phase profile of a Gaussian beam can result in the generation of a beam with unusual properties. Described in this thesis are optical vortices, Bessel beams and Airy beams. Additionally, optical manipulation was investigated using both novel beams and Gaussian beams with an emphasis on the use of a broad bandwidth laser source. The generation of multiple broadband optical trap sites was explored, and the transfer of orbital angular momentum from a broadband optical vortex to trapped microspheres was demonstrated. An introduction to the thesis and an overview of laser sources used for optical manipulation is presented in Chapters 1 and 2. Chapters 3 and 4 detail the background of optical manipulation and novel beam shaping. In Chapter 5, an investigation into the generation of multiple broadband optical trap sites is presented. Chapter 6 details the use of a ‘white light’ optical vortex to transfer orbital angular momentum to trapped microspheres. Chapter 7 presents the results of an investigation carried out using a supercontinuum source to characterise the wavelength and spatial coherence dependence of the properties of an optical Airy beam. The use of a monochromatic laser to generate Bessel beams that propagate along curved trajectories is detailed in Chapter 8. Chapter 9 summarises the thesis and suggests future work.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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