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Higher-Order Modes Speed Up Fiber Conveyor Belt (with video)

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Evanescent waves bleeding out of optical fibers can be used to trap and move microparticles like a conveyor belt, a phenomenon that could be useful in drug delivery, cell research and even quantum computing. While the effect has been demonstrated before using light of the fundamental mode, researchers at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University have taken it a step further by using higher-order modes. They were able to move 3-μm polystyrene beads up to eight times faster through water with higher-order modes than with the fundamental mode. ...Read full article

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