• Advanced Photonics
  • Vol. 1, Issue 2, 024001 (2019)
Weiqiang Ding1、*, Tongtong Zhu1、2, Lei-Ming Zhou2, and Cheng-Wei Qiu2、*
Author Affiliations
  • 1Harbin Institute of Technology, Department of Physics, Harbin, China
  • 2National University of Singapore, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Singapore
  • show less

    Abstract

    Usually, an unfocused light beam, such as a paraxial Gaussian beam, can exert a force on an object along the direction of light propagation, which is known as light pressure. Recently, however, it was found that an unfocused light beam can also exert an optical pulling force (OPF) on an object toward the source direction; the beam is accordingly named an optical tractor beam. In recent years, this intriguing force has attracted much attention and a huge amount of progress has been made both in theory and experiment. We briefly review recent progress achieved on this topic. We classify the mechanisms to achieve an OPF into four different kinds according to the dominant factors. The first one is tailoring the incident beam. The second one is engineering the object’s optical parameters. The third one is designing the structured material background, in which the light–matter interaction occurs, and the fourth one is utilizing the indirect photophoretic force, which is related to the thermal effect of light absorption. For all the methods, we analyze the basic principles and review the recent achievements. Finally, we also give a brief conclusion and an outlook on the future development of this field.
    Copy Citation Text
    Weiqiang Ding, Tongtong Zhu, Lei-Ming Zhou, Cheng-Wei Qiu. Photonic tractor beams: a review[J]. Advanced Photonics, 2019, 1(2): 024001
    Download Citation
    Category: Reviews
    Received: Oct. 12, 2018
    Accepted: Feb. 27, 2019
    Published Online: Apr. 2, 2019
    The Author Email: Ding Weiqiang (wqding@hit.edu.cn), Qiu Cheng-Wei (chengwei.qiu@nus.edu.sg)