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Independent polarisation control of multiple optical traps.

  • Author(s): Preece, Daryl;
  • Keen, Stephen;
  • Botvinick, Elliot;
  • Bowman, Richard;
  • Padgett, Miles;
  • Leach, Jonathan
  • et al.
Abstract

We present a system which uses a single spatial light modulator to control the spin angular momentum of multiple optical traps. These traps may be independently controlled both in terms of spatial location and in terms of their spin angular momentum content. The system relies on a spatial light modulator used in a "split-screen" configuration to generate beams of orthogonal polarisation states which are subsequently combined at a polarising beam splitter. Defining the phase difference between the beams with the spatial light modulator enables control of the polarisation state of the light. We demonstrate the functionality of the system by controlling the rotation and orientation of birefringent vaterite crystals within holographic optical tweezers.

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