11 September 2006 Grasping microscopic objects by multiple tools actuated by optical tweezers
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Abstract
Optical tweezers is a promising manipulation tool for objects in the range of micrometers to nanometers. Although there are many reported works on manipulating objects made of different materials and objects of irregular shapes, it is more suitable for non-opaque materials and objects that are symmetrical. Furthermore, there are potential damages on the objects arising from immense heat that is produced by the laser beam. These problems can be alleviated by trapping objects (micro-handles) and using them collectively as a gripper to indirectly hold and manipulate a target object. Holding denotes equilibrium of forces exerted by the tools on a target object. However, there still is a problem with this approach. When the trapping volume is larger than the size of a tool, target objects get pulled towards the center of the trapping volume. This breaks the force equilibrium and gripping thus fails. In this paper, we report a new design of tools that can overcome this problem. The tool is a slender object with one end acting as a probe while the other end is spherical so that trapping is easy. The length of the tool is designed to be larger than the radius of the trapping volume. Thus the target object is never pulled towards the trapping center. A group of multiple identical tools will surround and push a target object at the probe tips resulting in a stable grasp.
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Seung-Yong Sung, In-Yong Park, Jong-Hyun Lee, Yong-Gu Lee, "Grasping microscopic objects by multiple tools actuated by optical tweezers", Proc. SPIE 6326, Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation III, 63260Y (11 September 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.678762; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.678762
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