Pulsed laser manipulation of an optically trapped bead: Averaging thermal noise and measuring the pulsed force amplitude

Thue Bjerring Lindballe, Martin V. G. Kristensen, Søren Rud Keiding, Henrik Stapelfeldt, Kirstine Berg-Sørensen, Søren Rud Keiding, Henrik Stapelfeldt

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An experimental strategy for post-eliminating thermal noise on position measurements of optically trapped particles is presented. Using a nanosecond pulsed laser, synchronized to the detection system, to exert a periodic driving force on an optically trapped 10 polystyrene bead, the laser pulse-bead interaction is repeated hundreds of times. Traces with the bead position following the prompt displacement from equilibrium, induced by each laser pulse, are averaged and reveal the underlying deterministic motion of the bead, which is not visible in a single trace due to thermal noise. The motion of the bead is analyzed from the direct time-dependent position measurements and from the power spectrum. The results show that the bead is on average displaced 208 nm from the trap center and exposed to a force amplitude of 71 nanoNewton, more than five orders of magnitude larger than the trapping forces. Our experimental method may have implications for microrheology. © 2013 Optical Society of America.
Original languageEnglish
JournalOptics Express
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)1986-1996
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

© 2013 Optical Society of America


  • Laser pulses
  • Polystyrenes
  • Position measurement
  • Thermal noise

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