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Chirality in Optical Trapping and Optical Binding

School of Chemistry, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Photonics 2015, 2(2), 483-497;
Received: 26 March 2015 / Revised: 5 May 2015 / Accepted: 6 May 2015 / Published: 11 May 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Trapping in Biology and Nanotechnology)
PDF [649 KB, uploaded 11 May 2015]


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. View Full-Text
Keywords: optical trap; optical binding; optical forces; chirality; nanophotonics; transition dipoles; electrodynamics; biophysics optical trap; optical binding; optical forces; chirality; nanophotonics; transition dipoles; electrodynamics; biophysics

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Bradshaw, D.S.; Forbes, K.A.; Leeder, J.M.; Andrews, D.L. Chirality in Optical Trapping and Optical Binding. Photonics 2015, 2, 483-497.

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