Toward steering a jet of particles into an X-ray beam with optically induced forces

Niko Eckerskorn, Richard Bowman, Richard A. Kirian, Salah Awel, Max Wiedorn, Jochen Küpper, Miles J. Padgett, Henry N. Chapman, Andrei V. Rode

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter in a published conference proceeding

3 Citations (SciVal)


Optical trapping of light-absorbing particles in a gaseous environment is governed by a laser-induced photophoretic force, which can be orders of magnitude stronger than the force of radiation pressure induced by the same light intensity. In spite of many experimental studies, the exact theoretical background underlying the photophoretic force and the prediction of its influence on the particle motion is still in its infancy. Here, we report the results of a quantitative analysis of the photophoretic force and the stiffness of trapping achieved by levitating graphite and carbon-coated glass shells of calibrated sizes in an upright diverging hollow-core vortex beam, which we refer to as an âõptical funnelâ™. The measurements of forces were conducted in air at various gas pressures in the range from 5 mbar to 2 bar. The results of these measurements lay the foundation for developing a touch-free optical system for precisely positioning sub-micrometer bioparticles at the focal spot of an X-ray free electron laser, which would significantly enhance the efficiency of studying nanoscale morphology of proteins and biomolecules in femtosecond coherent diffractive imaging experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOptical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation XII
ISBN (Electronic)9781628417142, 9781628417142
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2015
EventOptical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation XII - San Diego, USA United States
Duration: 9 Aug 201512 Aug 2015


ConferenceOptical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation XII
Country/TerritoryUSA United States
CitySan Diego


  • laser vortex beam
  • light pressure
  • optical guiding of particles
  • photophoretic force

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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