A clustered speckle approach to optical trapping

J. P. Staforelli, J. M. Brito, E. Vera, P. Solano, A. Lencina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


An in situ study of the clustered speckle 3D structure using an optical tweezer setup is presented. Clustered speckles appear when a coherently illuminated diffuser is imaged through a pupil mask with several apertures, properly distributed over a closed path, which is placed before the objective lens of a standard optical trapping system. Thus, light volumes are reduced several times when compared with standard speckles, being even smaller than the focus volume of a Gaussian beam commonly used to trap. Moreover, clustered speckles have odd statistical properties which differentiated it from standard speckles. Then, geometrically ordered multiple trapping arrays, with statistical random distribution of intensities, can be created with this technique. This fact could enable different studies concerning optical binding or new developments in coherent matter wave transport where Optical Trapping has been proven with standard speckles. In this work, a qualitative analysis of clustered speckles in an optical tweezer setup relative to the number of apertures in the mask and their size is carried on. Besides, in the Rayleigh regime, a general quantitative method to characterize the trapping capability of an optical field is proposed. Then, it is applied to clustered speckles. As a result, a relation between aperture size and the maximum size of the particles that could be trapped is found. This fact opens the possibility of engineering the statistic of the trapped particles by properly selecting the pupil mask.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4722-4726
Number of pages5
JournalOptics Communications
Issue number23
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Clustered speckle
  • Optical trapping
  • Optical tweezers


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