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Measurements of the force fields within an acoustic standing wave using holographic optical tweezers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Article number163504
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number16
DatePublished - 21 Apr 2014


Direct measurement of the forces experienced by micro-spheres in an acoustic standing wave device have been obtained using calibrated optical traps generated with holographic optical tweezers. A micro-sphere, which is optically trapped in three dimensions, can be moved through the acoustic device to measure forces acting upon it. When the micro-sphere is subjected to acoustic forces, it's equilibrium position is displaced to a position where the acoustic forces and optical forces are balanced. Once the optical trapping stiffness has been calibrated, observation of this displacement enables a direct measurement of the forces acting upon the micro-sphere. The measured forces are separated into a spatially oscillating component, attributed to the acoustic radiation force, and a constant force, attributed to fluid streaming. As the drive conditions of the acoustic device were varied, oscillating forces (>2.5 pNpp) and streaming forces (<0.2 pN) were measured. A 5 μm silica micro-sphere was used to characterise a 6.8 MHz standing wave, λ = 220 μm, to a spatial resolution limited by the uncertainty in the positioning of the micro-sphere (here to within 2 nm) and with a force resolution on the order of 10 fN. The results have application in the design and testing of acoustic manipulation devices.



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