We are presenting so-called Wave-guided Optical Waveguides (WOWs) fabricated by two-photon polymerization and capable of being optically manipulated into any arbitrary orientation. By integrating optical waveguides into the structures we have created freestanding waveguides which can be positioned anywhere in a sample at any orientation using real-time 3D optical micromanipulation with six degrees of freedom. One of the key aspects of our demonstrated WOWs is the change in direction of in-coupled light and the marked increase in numerical aperture of the out-coupled light. Hence, each light propelled WOW can tap from a relatively broad incident beam and generate a much more tightly confined light at its tip. The presentation contains both numerical simulations related to the propagation of light through a WOW and preliminary experimental demonstrations on our BioPhotonics Workstation. In a broader context, this research shows that optically trapped micro-fabricated structures can potentially help bridge the diffraction barrier. This structure-mediated paradigm may be carried forward to open new possibilities for exploiting beams from far-field optics down to the sub-wavelength domain.
Proceedings of Spie, the International Society for Optical Engineering, 2012, Vol 8458
Main Research Area:
2012 Optics+Photonics : Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation IX, 2012