Tools Made of Light – Optical Tweezers and Their Applications

Hosted By: Optical Trapping and Manipulation in Molecular and Cellular Biology Technical Group

1 May 2019, 19:00 - 20:00

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The 2018 Nobel Prize went in part to Arthur Ashkin for optical tweezers and their applications to biological systems. Optical tweezers represent a tool made of light where we use transfer of momentum of light to trap and manipulate in three dimensions small objects. We can use transfer of linear momentum of light but we also can use a transfer of angular momentum of light. For trapping to occur we need highly focused laser beam. The laser micromanipulation of a large variety of samples can be readily achieved.

From early on Ashkin demonstrated the use of optical tweezers for studies of complex biological systems and these applications are still developing. The transfer of angular momentum of light in optical tweezers led to construction of all optically driven micromachines and their use in microfluidics and other applications. It has been also possible to apply optical tweezers to studies in vivo. Join the OSA Optical Trapping and Manipulation in Molecular and Cellular Biology Technical Group for a webinar with Dr. Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop exploring these tools made of light for which we are still finding new and exciting applications.

What You Will Learn:

  • The concept of optical tweezers and how they can be applied for studies of complex biological systems
  • The use of sculptured light and its use in innovative applications in optical tweezers and new trapping geometries
  • Applications of optical tweezers

Who Should Attend:

  • Physicists, biologists, chemists, and engineers interested in optical trapping, biotechnology, structured light, biological physics, and biosensing research



Dr. Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop, University of Queensland

Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop is Professor of Physics at the University of Queensland. She was educated at University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden. She is a Director of Quantum Science Laboratory and was Head of School of Mathematics and Physics. At the University of Queensland Halina leads large research groups in experimental quantum atom optics, laser micromanipulation and nano-optics. She also leads a program in the ARC Centre of Excellence in Engineered Quantum Systems. Halina has been awarded Australian Institute of Physics International Woman in Physics, Lecture Tour Medal and University of Queensland Award for Excellence in Research Higher Degree Supervision. Halina is a Fellow of Australian Academy of Science, a Fellow of SPIE and of OSA. Her group has published over 270 papers that have received over 8150 citations in leading scientific journals. In 2018 she was made an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia.