Optical Tweezers Group
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UCL Optical Tweezers Group



Prof. Phil Jones

Sandrine Heijnen

Riccardo Tognato

Shiyi (Ed) Chen

Haozhe Shen


Onofrio Marago; NanoSoft Lab, IPCF-CNR, Messina, Sicily

Giovanni Volpe; Soft Matter Lab, Gothenburg University, Sweden

Burcin Unlu; Medical Physics Group, Bogazici University, Istanbul

Eleanor Stride; Biomedical Ultrasonics & Biotherapy Lab, Oxford University

Ferruccio Renzoni; Department of Physics & Astronomy, UCL

MSC-ITN ActiveMatter

NOIs Collaboration; UC Cork, TU Wien, U Innsbruck & Institute of Spectroscopy, Moscow

Jixiong Pu; Huaqiao University

An experimental research group, based in the Biological Physics (BioP) section of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, UCL.


The UCL Optical Tweezers Group, autumn 2013
(L-R) Chris F, Tom, Chris R, Alessandro

P H Jones, O M Marago & G Volpe

book cover

"...it is quite simply excellent..."
"...a fantastic resource..."

Visit the book website at
for supplementary material

Available from CUP or Amazon from 03 Dec 2015

Optical Biology Phd Programme
Open for applications
30 Oct - 13 Dec 2019
to start PhD in September 2020

Hosted by the Soft Matter Group, U Gothenburg
29 May - 01 June 2018


The Special Issue of Micromachines Optical Trapping and Manipulation: From Fundamentals to Applications has been reprinted as a freely available online book

Paper H de Belly et al 'Membrane tension gates ERK-mediated regulation of pluripotent cell fate', Cell Stem Cell 28 1-12 (2021) published

Paper G Pesce et al 'Optical tweezers: theory and practice' published in EPJ Plus Focus Issue 'Light Pressure Across All Scales'. Eur. Phys. J. Plus 135 949 (2020)

Brownian motion of graphene ACS Nano 4 7515 (2010) reaches 150 citations (Scopus)

Welcome to our new project students Shiyi Chen and Haozhe Shen

Progress meeting of the MSC-ITN ActiveMatter to take place Thu 10 Sep

A short article on Optical Tweezers is published in Revista Universitaria (Mexico).  Thanks to Dr Eric Rosas for the translation!

On Thu 3rd Sep Phil will be giving a talk at Photon 2020 on 'Optical Binding in Two and Three Dimensions'

Optical trapping and manipulation of nanostructures Nat. Nanotech. 8 807-819 (2013) reaches 500 citations (Scopus)

On Tuesday 5th May (12pm EST, 5pm BST) Phil will be giving an OSA Webinar on 'Optical Trapping of Deformable Material'. Register here.

The complete Special Issue of on Optical Trapping and Manipulation: From Fundamentals to Applications with eight papers has now been published

Welcome to Riccardo Tognato who has joined the Optical Tweezers Group

Prof Erika Eiser (Cambridge University) is giving today's Chemical Engineering seminar on Optofluidic crystallization of colloids tethered at interfaces

Following the success of the first Special issue of  on Optical Trapping and Manipulation: From Fundamentals to Applications, we are pleased to announce Optical Trapping and Manipulation: From Fundamentals to Applications Volume 2 with guest editor  is open for submissions and due for publication in 2021

The website for the MSC-ITN ActiveMatter is now online at active-matter.eu

Welcome to new PhD student Sandrine Heijnen, who has joined the MSC-ITN ActiveMatter to work on a project co-supervised with Giorgio Volpe (UCL Chemistry)

Our paper Strongly focused circularly polarized optical vortex regulated by a fractal conical lens is published as Applied Sciences 10 28 (2020)

Optical trapping and manipulation of nanostructures Nat. Nanotech. 8 807-819 (2013) reaches 450 citations (Scopus)

New Wellcome Trust funded PhD programme in Optical Biology starting in September 2020.   Applications open 30 Oct 19 - 13 Dec 19

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