Abagaile Kimbrell

Theory and Application of Optical Tweezers

Presented by: Abagaile Kimbrell
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Donald Johnson, Professor of Physics

Optical tweezers have evolved into a sophisticated biophysical and biomechanical technique that has the ability to control the movement of microscopic and submicroscopic objects and particles using focused laser beams. Recent growth in the nanotechnology field has further enhanced the applications of optical tweezers, leading to the development of nanophotonic tweezers, a new class of optical tweezers. There are several biophysical and biomechanical applications of optical tweezers, including, but not limited to manipulation of single cells which can be applied to many different fields, nanoengineering, and quantum optomechanics. The apparatus of optical tweezers, a simplified version of the physics, and the various applications of optical tweezers will be explained and discussed. The cost to purchase equipment for optical tweezers and whether St. Thomas Aquinas College would benefit from having this equipment in the laboratories will also be analyzed and discussed.