Optical Tweezers Group
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UCL Optical Tweezers Group



Prof. Phil Jones

Sandrine Heijnen

Cigdem Boz

Shiyi (Ed) Chen

Nina O'Toole

Bingxin Guo

Shane Wilson

Yuchen Jiang


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

Giovanni Volpe; Soft Matter Lab, Gothenburg University, Sweden

Burcin Unlu; Medical Physics Group, Bogazici University, Istanbul

Yuval Elani; Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College

Dario Carugo; Pharmaceutics, UCL School of Pharmacy

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, spring 2023
(L-R) Bingxin, Cigdem, Shiyi, Nina

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
  01 Oct - 09 Jan 2023
to start PhD in September 2023

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


2023 Darwin Lectures

darwin lecture poster

Our paper on improving trap force calculations for red blood cells is published as R. Tognato et al, Biomedical Optics Express 14(7) 3748-3762 (2023)

Preprint on bioRxiv: R. Tognato et al, 'Modelling red blood cell optical trapping by machine learning improved geometrical optics calculations'

The Roadmap for Optical Tweezers is published online in J Phys Photonics

Phil will be giving a talk as part of the 2023 Darwin Lectures series at Darwin College, Cambridge on 17 Feb 23. This year's theme is Isolation

Prof Donna Strickland (2018 Physics Nobel Laureate) will be visiting UCL to give a talk on Generating High-intensity, Ultra-Short Optical Pulses, 01 Feb 23

PhD project on Optical trapping and spectroscopy of 2D nanomaterials, jointly supervised with Prof Chris Howard available.  See this page for how to apply, deadline is 25 Jan.

Feature Issue of Biomedical Optics Express in conjunction with the Optica Optical Manipulation and Its Applications (OMA) Meeting announced.  Submissions open 01 Apr 23

Our paper Ray optics model for optical trapping of biconcave red blood cells has been published as R Tognato & P H Jones, Micromachines 14 83 (2023)

Our paper Optical tweezers and their applications, J Quant Spectr Rad Transf 218 131-150 (2018) reaches 100 citations (Scopus)

Introduction to Optical Tweezers tutorial lecture for students on the Optical Biology CDT, 10:00 Tue 13 Dec

Welcome to Bingxin Guo, who has joined the group for a PhD

Welcome to Shane Wilson, who has joined the group for his Physics MSci project

Optical trapping and manipulation of nanostructures Nat. Nanotech. 8 807-819 (2013) reaches 700 citations (Scopus)

Welcome to Nina O'Toole, who has joined the group for a PhD, working on a collaborative project with Yuval Elani

Welcome back to Shiyi Chen, who after completing his MSci project with us, has re-joined us for a PhD

Welcome to Cigdem Boz, who has joined the group to study for a PhD

Phil will be giving the HOPES webinar for the UK & Ireland Section of the IEEE on 'Biological Applications of Optical Tweezers', Mon 25 Apr 22

Congratulations to Riccardo Tognato for successfully defending his thesis

Our paper 'Assessment of red blood cell deformability in type 2 diabetes mellitus and diabetic retinopathy by dual optical tweezers stretching technique', Scientific Reports 6 15873 (2016) reaches 100 citations (Scopus)

Paper H. Chen et al, 'Influence of slow light effect on trapping force in optical tweezers', Optics Letters 47 710-713 (2022) is published

Congratulations to Riccardo Tognato for submitting his thesis

A warm welcome to David Bronte Ciriza, who is visiting the group as part of the MSC-ITN ActiveMatter.

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