Laser writing of parabolic micromirrors with a high numerical aperture for optical trapping and rotation


TOn-chip optical trapping systems allow for high scalability and lower the barrier to access. Systems capable of trapping multiple particles typically come with high cost and complexity. Here, we present a technique for making parabolic mirrors with micrometer-size dimensions and high numerical apertures (NA > 1). Over 350 mirrors are made by simple CO2 laser ablation of glass followed by gold deposition. We fabricate mirrors of arbitrary diameter and depth at a high throughput rate by carefully controlling the ablation parameters. We use the micromirrors for three-dimensional optical trapping of microbeads in solution, achieving a maximum optical trap stiffness of 52 pN/μm/W. We, then, further demonstrate the viability of the mirrors as in situ optical elements through the rotation of a vaterite particle using reflected circularly polarized light. The method used allows for rapid and highly customizable fabrication of dense optical arrays.

Applied Physics Letters