Tapered optical fibers can be used for microscale biological applications, such as sensing and manipulating cells. Particle manipulation is possible through light-matter interaction that occurs outside the physical boundary of the fibers throughout the tapered section. We designed and built an electrical microfurnace that produced tapered fibers with up to 96% optical transmission in air compared to ~80% transmission with the flame fabrication. In water, these fibers lost no more than an additional 33% of optical power, compared with ~80% loss with the flame method. With this significantly improved optical transmission, an optical conveyor belt has been experimentally demonstrated in water, with microscale particles trapped and propelled along the fiber taper.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major Qualifying Project
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