Article open access publication

Pulling cylindrical particles using a soft-nonparaxial tractor beam

Scientific Reports, Springer Nature, ISSN 2045-2322

Volume 7, 1, 2017

DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-00735-2, Dimensions: pub.1084130838, PMC: PMC5429638, PMID: 28381822,


Novitsky, Andrey * (1) (2)

* Corresponding author



  1. (1) Department of Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics, Belarusian Stateparticle University, 220030, Minsk, Belarus
  2. (2) Technical University of Denmark, grid.5170.3, DTU
  3. (3) Harbin Institute of Technology, grid.19373.3f
  4. (4) National University of Singapore, grid.4280.e
  5. (5) Soochow University, grid.263761.7









In order to pull objects towards the light source a single tractor beam inevitably needs to be strongly nonparaxial. This stringent requirement makes such a tractor beam somewhat hypothetical. Here we reveal that the cylindrical shape of dielectric particles can effectively mitigate the nonparaxiality requirements, reducing the incidence angle of the partial plane waves of the light beam down to 45° and even to 30° for respectively dipole and dipole-quadrupole objects. The optical pulling force attributed to the interaction of magnetic dipole and magnetic quadrupole moments of dielectric cylinders occurs due to the TE rather than TM polarization. Therefore, the polarization state of the incident beam can be utilized as an external control for switching between the pushing and pulling forces. The results have application values towards optical micromanipulation, transportation and sorting of targeted particles.


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