Continuously rotating chiral liquid crystal droplets in a linearly polarized laser trap

Y. Yang, P.D. Brimicombe, N.W. Roberts, M.R. Dickinson, M.A. Osipov, H.F. Gleeson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The transfer of optical angular momentum to birefringent particles via circularly polarized light is common. We report here on the unexpected, continuous rotation of chiral nematic liquid crystal droplets in a linearly polarized optical trap. The rotation is non-uniform, occurs over a timescale of seconds, and is observed only for very specific droplet sizes. Synchronized vertical motion of the droplet occurs during the rotation. The motion is the result of photo-induced molecular reorganization, providing a micron sized opto-mechanical transducer that twists and translates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6877-6882
Number of pages5
JournalOptics Express
Volume16
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2008

Keywords

  • optical angular momentum
  • birefringent particles
  • circularly polarized light
  • chiral nematic liquid
  • crystal droplet
  • rotation

Cite this

Yang, Y., Brimicombe, P. D., Roberts, N. W., Dickinson, M. R., Osipov, M. A., & Gleeson, H. F. (2008). Continuously rotating chiral liquid crystal droplets in a linearly polarized laser trap. Optics Express, 16(10), 6877-6882. https://doi.org/10.1364/OE.16.006877