Chirality in optical trapping and optical binding

David Bradshaw, Kayn Forbes, Jamie Leeder, David Andrews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


Optical trapping is a well-established technique that is increasingly used on biological substances and nanostructures. Chirality, the property of objects that differ from their mirror image, is also of significance in such fields, and a subject of much current interest. This review offers insight into the intertwining of these topics with a focus on the latest theory. Optical trapping of nanoscale objects involves forward Rayleigh scattering of light involving transition dipole moments; usually these dipoles are assumed to be electric although, in chiral studies, magnetic dipoles must also be considered. It is shown that a system combining optical trapping and chirality could be used to separate enantiomers. Attention is also given to optical binding, which involves light induced interactions between trapped particles. Interesting effects also arise when binding is combined with chirality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-497
Number of pages15
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2015


  • optical trap
  • optical binding
  • optical forces
  • chirality
  • nanophotonics
  • transition dipoles
  • electrodynamics
  • biophysics

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