Koch Lab:Research/AOD tidbits
During grad school, Steve spent a bunch of time monkeying around with AODs (acousto-optic deflectors, see: wikipedia:AOM) during the construction of otpical tweezers. He spent sometimes months over-analyzing some of the problems encountered and accumulated a lot of data that hasn't been published. He'd like to put that data on OWW to save time for others who may encounter those problems.Send Steve a note if you would like more information about these things--a note will make him motivated to post things sooner!
After aligning the optical tweezers (at Cornell, Wanglab, see Koch_Lab:Publications 2002 Biophys J article) Steve, Richard and others discovered that using our AOD to steer the optical trap in the sample plane produces huge "wiggles" on the detector. These wiggles could add as much as 10 nm of error into the detection signal, which was unacceptable. Steve studied the hell out of this for over a month and in the end, use of the AODs for other than intensity modulation was abandonded, and the piezo stage was used for 1-D stretching. Many unpublished things were discovered along the way, which could be useful to other optical tweezers labs or others using AODs.
Schaefer-Bergmann diffraction? Possible the root cause of the AOD cross-hatching and detector wiggles?