E3500 Series Multiple Spot Optical Tweezers Systems: Computer Controlled Trapping - Optional Force Measurement


Computer controlled particle trapping and manipulation 

The E3500 Optical Tweezers System is a fully functional computer controlled unit for the multiple spot trapping and manipulation of micron sized particles. It is designed to be attached to high quality commercial instruments, upgrading them to Photonic Force Microscopes.


The ease of use and flexibility of the system allow many optical trapping experiments to be undertaken. In biophysics for example, with applications such as cell sorting and microrheology. In chemistry, for colloid research and in physics for particle spectroscopy.


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  • Fully independent control of multiple optical traps
  • Cell manipulation using PC controlled acousto-optic beam steering optics or microscope XY stage
  • Graphical user interface for mouse control of optical traps
  • Z trapping using microscope focus stage
  • Linear or circular trapping arrays with variable spacing and rotation
  • Multiple independent arrays
  • Attaches to microscope camera or epi-fluorescence port
  • 1070 nm fibre laser with variable power
  • High speed camera

Mutiple Spot Optical Tweezers System


The E3500 is a commercial attachment for high quality microscopes for users wishing to undertake multiple beam particle trapping and manipulation experiments. It is suitable for working with micron sized particles and can be used for cell manipulation using either the computer controlled beam steering optics or the microscope XY sample stage.


The system comprises an optical module containing the laser, beam steering optics and the microscope interface and the control module with the drive electronics, computer and unique control software.


The optical module attaches to the microscope either through an additional module such as an epi-fluorescence attachment or a camera port. A range of interfaces is available depending on the make and model of microscope.

This latest system, based on a Nikon microscope,

utilises a high-power fibre-coupled laser for trapping

and a low-power fibre-coupled laser as theprobe beam

Beam control is provided by high speed acousto-optic beam deflectors. The unique design of the software and control electronics allow for the creation and independent manipulation of multiple optical traps anywhere within the field of view.

The high speed GigE interface camera allows visualisation of the trapped particles through the computer interface. The trap positions are overlayed on the video image to allow easy trapping of particles.


The 1070 nm fibre laser gives a stable high quality TEM00 beam with an M2 of 1.05. This high beam quality when used with high NA microscope objectives gives the tightly focused Gaussian spot required for efficient optical traps in both XY and Z directions. Variable power is available for changing the strength of the optical trap.


Software control

Optical traps are created and positioned by mouse control in the easy to use software. These traps can be single spots, line arrays or circular arrays. The spacing, orientation and number of traps can be easily adjusted from the control panel in the software. Additional traps can be added or removed at any time without affecting existing traps. Multiple arrays and spots can be manipulated totally independently of each other.



Model E3500 Optical Tweezers System comprises:

  • Optical module with microscope interface
  • Acousto-optic beam steering optics
  • 1070 nm laser with power monitor and display
  • Electronics module with AO modulator drivers and computer interface
  • Computer with electronics interface modules
  • Computer monitor
  • GUI control software
  • High speed video camera
  • Laser blocking filter

Application Notes
Elliot Scientific Optical Tweezers Application Note PDFs and accompanying Videos:

The E3500 is manufactured under licence from The University of St. Andrews

Contact us for more information or a formal quote.