Lasers tweeze every which way

March 12/19, 2003

One promising means of powering microscopic machines is light. A stream of photons can affect minuscule objects much like wind turning a windmill.

Researchers from the University of Glasgow in Scotland have found a way to use a pair of laser beams to rotate an object in three dimensions, turning it like a ball rather than a wheel.

The method is a step forward in manipulating microscopic objects because it provides a way to turn an object on any axis -- it is not restricted to the axis of the laser beam. The researchers got around this restriction by using a pair of computer-controlled laser beams to hold, or trap different parts of the same object. The researchers were able to rotate a pair of fused spheres by making the traps revolve around each other.

The fused spheres each measured 5 microns in diameter, which is the size of a red blood cell.

The method could be used to drive miniature machines on labs-on-a-chip within five years, according to the researchers. The work appeared in the February 3, 2003 issue of Applied Physics Letters. -TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH NEWS

Page One

Quantum chips advance

Cheap solar power on deck

Paper speeds video access

Chip device gets to the point

News briefs:
   Warping yields better light chip
   Supersensitive disk drives on tap
   Lasers tweeze every which way
   RNA forms nanomotor
   Cold logic promises speedy devices
   Net has few degrees of separation

Research Watch blog

View from the High Ground Q&A
How It Works

RSS Feeds:
News  | Blog

Ad links:
Buy an ad link


Ad links: Clear History

Buy an ad link

Home     Archive     Resources    Feeds     Glossary
TRN Finder     Research Dir.    Events Dir.      Researchers     Bookshelf
   Contribute      Under Development     T-shirts etc.     Classifieds

© Copyright Technology Research News, LLC 2000-2010. All rights reserved.