Optical trapping forces depend on the difference between the trap wavelength and the extinction resonances of trapped particles. This leads to a wavelength-dependent trapping force, which should allow for the optimization of optical tweezers systems, simply by choosing the best trapping wavelength for a given application. Here we present an optical tweezer system with wavelength tunability, for the study of resonance effects. With this system, the optical trap stiffness is measured for single trapped particles that exhibit either single or multiple extinction resonances. We include discussions of wavelength-dependent effects, such as changes in temperature, and how to measure them.

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Certain commercial equipment, instruments, or materials are identified in this paper to foster understanding. Such identification does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, nor does it imply that the materials or equipment identified are necessarily the best available for the purpose.
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