Defect-free optical assembly of polystyrene spheres

Gang Wang*, G. C. Spalding, J. B. Ketterson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We present preliminary results from an experimental study of optically-assisted assembly. Interference patterns, formed by the intersection of two coherent laser beams, result in periodic one-dimensional potential wells ("optical trenches"). Polystyrene spheres become trapped in these potential wells and subsequently self-assemble into a two-dimensional periodic structure. The spacing between optical trenches is adjusted dynamically, which offers the freedom to dynamically control the lattice constant, offering a recipe for defect-free assembly which begins with annealing at large lattice constant and subsequent compression into a close-packed structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101
Pages (from-to)747-754
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2004
EventOptical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation - Denver, CO, United States
Duration: Aug 2 2004Aug 6 2004


  • Laser trapping
  • One-dimensional optical lattice
  • Optical tweezers
  • Self-assembly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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