A novel technique is presented which integrates the capacity of a laser tweezer to optically trap and manipulate objects in three-dimensions with the resolution-enhanced imaging capabilities of a solid immersion lens (SIL). Up to now, solid immersion lens imaging systems have relied upon cantilever-mounted SILs that are difficult to integrate into microfluidic systems and require an extra alignment step with external optics. As an alternative to the current state-of-art, we introduce a device that consists of a free-floating SIL and a laser optical tweezer. In our design, the optical tweezer, created by focusing a laser beam through high numerical aperture microscope objective, acts in a two-fold manner: both as a trapping beam for the positioning and alignment of the SIL and as an near-field scanning beam to image the sample through the SIL. Combining the alignment, positioning, and imaging functions into a single device allows for the direct integration of a high resolution imaging system into microfluidic and biological environments.
- Laser tweezer
- Near-field solid immersion microscopy
- Solid immersion lens (SIL)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Condensed Matter Physics