Vincent Ginis

Three-Dimensional Measurement of the Helicity-Dependent Forces on a Mie Particle

L Liu, A Di Donato, V Ginis, S Kheifets, A Amirzhan, F Capasso
Recently, it was shown that a Mie particle in an evanescent field ought to experience optical forces that depend on the helicity of the totally internally reflected beam. As yet, a direct measurement of such helicity-dependent forces has been elusive, as the widely differing force magnitudes in the three spatial dimensions place stringent demands on a measurement’s sensitivity and range. In this study, we report the simultaneous measurement of all components of this polarization-dependent optical force by using a 3D force spectroscopy technique with femtonewton sensitivity. The vector force fields are compared quantitatively with our theoretical calculations as the polarization state of the incident light is varied and show excellent agreement. By plotting the 3D motion of the Mie particle in response to the switched force field, we offer visual evidence of the effect of spin momentum on the Poynting vector of an evanescent optical field.

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L Liu, A Di Donato, V Ginis, S Kheifets, A Amirzhan, F Capasso