The light-matter interaction has been at the heart of major advances from the atomic scale right to the microscopic scale over the past four decades. Confinement by light, embodied by the area of optical trapping, has had a major influence across all of the natural sciences. However, an emergent and powerful topic within this field that has steadily merged but not gained much recognition is optical binding: the importance of exploring the optically mediated interaction between assembled objects that can cause attractive and repulsive forces and dramatically influence the way they assemble and organize themselves. This offers routes for colloidal self-assembly, crystallization, and organization of templates for biological and colloidal sciences. In this Colloquium, this emergent area is reviewed looking at the pioneering experiments in the field and the various theoretical approaches that aim to describe this behavior. The latest experimental studies in the field are reviewed and theoretical approaches are now beginning to converge to describe the binding behavior seen. Recent links between optical binding and nonlinearity are explored as well as future themes and challenges.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)