Optical tweezers were invented in the mid-1980s by Arthur Ashkin and co-workers at the Bell Telephone Laboratories. Since then there has been a steady stream of developments and applications, particularly in the biological field. In the last five years, work using optical tweezers has increased significantly and they are becoming a mainstream tool within biological and nanotechnological fields. This introductory article seeks to explain the underpinning mechanism behind optical tweezers, present some recent technological advances and speculate on future applications within both biological and non-biological fields.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics