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A Modular System Architecture for Agile Assembly of Nanocomponents using Optical Tweezers



Arvind K. Balijepalli, Thomas W. LeBrun, Cedric V. Gagnon, Yong-Gu Lee, Nicholas G. Dagalakis


In order to realize the flexibility optical trapping offers as a nanoassembly tool, we need to develop natural and intuitiveinterfaces to assemble large quantities of nanocomponents quickly and cheaply. We propose a system to create such aninterface that is scalable, inter-changeable and modular. Several prototypes are described, starting with simple interfacesthat control a single trap in the optical tweezers instrument using a 3-dimensional Phantom haptic device. A networkbasedapproach is adopted early on, and a modular prototype is then described in detail. In such a design, individualmodules developed on different platforms work independently and communicate with each other through a commonlanguage interface using the Neutral Messaging Language (NML) communication protocol. A natural user interface isimplemented that can be used to create and manipulate traps interactively like in a CAD program. Modules such asimage processing and automatic assembly are also added to help simplify routine assembly tasks. Drawing on lessonslearned from the prototypes, a new system specification is formulated to better integrate the modules. Finally,conclusions are drawn on the overall viability and future of network-based systems for nanoassembly using opticaltweezers.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of SPIE
Conference Dates
September 10, 2005
Conference Location
San Diego, CA
Conference Title
Optics and Photonics Conference


nanoassembly, nanomanufacturing, optical tweezers, system architecture


Balijepalli, A. , LeBrun, T. , Gagnon, C. , Lee, Y. and Dagalakis, N. (2005), A Modular System Architecture for Agile Assembly of Nanocomponents using Optical Tweezers, Proceedings of SPIE, San Diego, CA (Accessed April 12, 2024)
Created September 10, 2005, Updated February 19, 2017