Mathieu beams as versatile light moulds for 3D micro particle assemblies

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Alpmann, C. ; Bowman, R. ; Woerdemann, M. ; Padgett, M. ; Denz, C. (2010)

We present tailoring of three dimensional light fields which act as light moulds for elaborate particle micro structures of variable shapes. Stereo microscopy is used for visualization of the 3D particle assemblies. The powerful method is demonstrated for the class of propagation invariant beams, where we introduce the use of Mathieu beams as light moulds with non-rotationally-symmetric structure. They offer multifarious field distributions and facilitate the creation of versatile particle structures. This general technique may find its application in micro fluidics, chemistry, biology, and medicine, to create highly efficient mixing tools, for hierarchical supramolecular organization or in 3D tissue engineering.
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