Optical micromanipulation using a Bessel light beam

J. Arlt, V. Garces-Chavez, W. Sibbett, K. Dholakia

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547 Citations (Scopus)


We demonstrate a technique for optical manipulation of micron-sized particles, including biological samples, using a zeroth-order Bessel light beam. The central maximum of such a beam offers a "non-diffracting" focal line of light. This line focus is well suited to rotationally align rod-like particles along the beam direction and to build stacks of particles. We have stacked up to nine 5μm spheres above one another and manipulated this particle chain as a whole. Furthermore, we have observed laser guiding (transport) of 1μm particles along the Bessel beam axis over 1 mm, which is over 10 times the Rayleigh range for a comparable Gaussian beam.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-245
Number of pages7
JournalOptics Communications
Issue number4-6
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Oct 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the Royal Society, the Leverhulme Trust and the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council for supporting this work.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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