Zero-order free holographic optical tweezers

Xue Yun, Yansheng Liang, Minru He, Linquan Guo, Xinyu Zhang, Tianyu Zhao, Piero R. Bianco, Ming Lei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Holographic optical tweezers (HOTs) use spatial light modulators (SLM) to modulate light beams, thereby enabling the dynamic control of optical trap arrays with complex intensity and phase distributions. This has provided exciting new opportunities for cell sorting, microstructure machining, and studying single molecules. However, the pixelated structure of the SLM will inevitably bring up the unmodulated zero-order diffraction possessing an unacceptably large fraction of the incident light beam power. This is harmful to optical trapping because of the bright, highly localized nature of the errant beam. In this paper and to address this issue, we construct a cost-effective, zero-order free HOTs apparatus, thanks to a homemade asymmetric triangle reflector and a digital lens. As there is no zero-order diffraction, the instrument performs excellently in generating complex light fields and manipulating particles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19613-19621
Number of pages9
JournalOptics Express
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 5 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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