Langmuir, Vol.24, No.23, 13383-13392, 2008
Optical Trapping Forces for Colloids at the Oil-Water Interface
We calculate the optical trapping forces exerted by a single laser beam strongly focused on a dielectric sphere located at a two-dimensional (2D) oil-water inter-face. The calculated lateral trapping forces, based on the geometrical optics approximation (GOA), agree with experimental measurements of the trapping force. Importantly, the calculations verify that the radiation force exerted on particles perpendicular to the interface is not sufficient to induce capillary interactions between particle pairs, which could be mistaken for particle-particle interactions. Finally, we find that the trapping forces depend on the three-phase contact angle of the particle at the interface.