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China Developed First 'Nanometer Optical Tweezers Equipment'

This optical tweezers system has passed appraisal by experts from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, marking a breakthrough achievement in this field. The optical tweezers, known as "mechanical hand" unlike the tangible tweezers is to form an optical trap with a gradient force field by using the radiation pressure generated by the shift of laser momentum to "catch" or "pick up" particles in the trap, according to Li Yinmei, professor in charge of the program. The optical trap functions just like a small pair of tweezers, so it is called "optical tweezers".


The system is a powerful tool for the measurement and control of biomolecules, which is able to measure very small force between biomolecules and very small displacement of them. Its measurement on the displacement of a single molecule could reach a level higher than nanometer, and its measurement on force could reach fN-grade. How much is 1fN force? If each person could only use 1fN force, then to pick up a hair, it has to mobilize all the 6 billion population in the world into action.


It is learned that this is the world first nanometer optical tweezers system, which contains three independent optical mechanical hands, whose development is of great significance for deeper study on individual movement of biomolecules and exploration into the law of life movement.


(People's Daily April 14, 2004)




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