Within the past years, structured light has paved the way to advanced optical manipulation. Besides well-established amplitude and phase structuring, we will present the pioneering topical role of polarization modification for innovative trapping landscapes. Beyond, by combining scalar and vectorial modulation, fully-structured light becomes available including sophisticated spin and orbital energy flow topologies – thus, trapping gets full structure. Additionally, we present tight focusing as a tool for 4D light field customization, demonstrate its application as well as identification. These tailored focal fields of 3D polarization will revolutionize trapping of polarization sensitive objects, allowing for the formation of advanced functional matter.
Light structured in phase and polarization has proven extraordinary benefit for optical tweezing. However, the customization of focal, non-paraxial light landscapes still poses a challenge. We tailor novel focal landscapes including its intensity as well as three-dimensional polarization structure by complex vector beams, even combined with phase vortices. By focusing vector fields, whose polarization is oriented in flower- or web-shape, we fabricate intensity structures resembling bright flowers or dark stars. These structures are formed by transverse Ex,y as well as longitudinal Ez electric field components. We tune the z-polarization components as well as threedimensional focal volume E (x, y, z) = [Ex, Ey, Ez]T on demand, optimizing its structure for optical trapping applications. Beyond, we prove their benefit for advanced optical trapping schemes by tweezing and orienting zeolite-L nano-containers.