Optical tweezers were invented in the mid-1980s by Arthur Ashkin and co-workers at the Bell Telephone Laboratories. Since then there has been a steady stream of developments and applications, particularly in the biological field. In the last five years, work using optical tweezers has increased significantly and they are becoming a mainstream tool within biological and nanotechnological fields. This introductory article seeks to explain the under-pinning mechanism behind optical tweezers, present some recent technological advances and speculate on future applications within both biological and non-biological fields.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics