Using an optical lattice formed by four laser beams, we obtain three-dimensional light-induced crystals of 490-nm-diameter polystyrene spheres in solution. The setup yields face-centered orthorhombic optical crystals of a packing density of about 40. An alignment procedure is developed in which the crystals are first prepared near a sample wall, and then in the bulk of the sample. A series of tests is performed that demonstrate particle trapping in all three dimensions. For one case, the trapping force is measured, and good agreement with a simple theoretical model is found. Possible applications are discussed.
- Received 3 November 2010
- Revised 19 March 2011
- Published 31 May 2011
©2011 American Physical Society