Abstract

When a suspension of wavelength-sized polystyrene spheres is illuminated with non-interfering counter-propagating Gaussian beams, the particles self-arrange into a colloidal waveguide (CWG). Mutual force interaction among particles is mediated by scattered light, referred to as the optical binding. We analyzed the longitudinal and lateral motion of particles in such CWGs made of an increasing number of particles with diameters of either 520 or 657 nm. We observed the enhancement of the binding stiffness of neighboring particles by more than an order of magnitude. This enhancement is done by optical means, mainly due to a local increase of optical intensity due to multiple light scattering in an optically bound structure.

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