Trapping, Manipulation and Rapid Rotation of NBD-C8 Fluorescent Single Microcrystals in Optical Tweezers

  • Jean-Pierre Galaup Université Paris Sud
  • Mariela Rodríguez-Otazo Centro de Aplicaciones Tecnológicas y Desarrollo Nuclear
  • Ángel G. Augier-Calderín Instituto Superior de Tecnologías y Ciencias Aplicadas
  • Jean-François Lamère Laboratoire IMRCP, Université Paul Sabatier
  • Suzanne Fery-Forgues Laboratoire IMRCP, Université Paul Sabatier


We have built an optical tweezers experiment based on an inverted microscope to trap and manipulate single crystals of micro or sub-micrometer size made from uorescent molecules of 4-octylamino-7-nitro-benzoxadiazole (NBD-C8). These single crystals have parallelepiped shapes and exhibit birefringence properties evidenced through optical experiments between crossed polarizers in a polarizing microscope. The crystals are uniaxial with their optical axis oriented along their largest dimension. Trapped in the optical trap, the organic micro-crystals are oriented in such a way that their long axis is along the direction o f the beam propagation, and their short axis follows the direction of the linear polarization. Therefore, with linearly polarized light, simply rotating the light polarization can orient the crystal. When using circularly or only elliptically polarized light, the crystal can spontaneously rotate and reach rotation speed of several hundreds of turns per second. A surprising result has been observed: when the incident power is growing up, the rotation speed increases to reach a maximum value and then decreases even when the power is still growing up. Moreover, this evolution is irreversible. Different possible explanations can be considered. The development of a 3D control of the crystals by dynamical holography using liquid crystal spatial modulators will be presented and discussed on the basis of the most recent results obtained.

Aug 12, 2011
How to Cite
GALAUP, Jean-Pierre et al. Trapping, Manipulation and Rapid Rotation of NBD-C8 Fluorescent Single Microcrystals in Optical Tweezers. Revista Cubana de Física, [S.l.], v. 28, n. 1, p. 45-48, aug. 2011. ISSN 2224-7939. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 22 june 2024.
Original Articles