Slide Mount Apparatus
Constructing the Microscope Slide Mount
For several reasons, the microscope slide mount is important piece of the optical tweezers set up. First, it needs to be sturdy enough to damp vibrations that move through the table and the lab. Since the Brownian motion measurements are observing particle oscillations of fractions of micrometers, any instability in the slide mount will skew the data. Secondly, it needs to be adjustable in all three dimensions focus the sample, and scan over the slide surface. Thirdly, the mount must be electronically controlled in the horizontal directions to perform Stokes measurements. Ideally it will be electronically controlled in the vertical direction to finely focus the objective, without having to touch the slide mount.
Slide Mount Apparatus Pieces
First a Newport 462 Series three dimensional translation stage was obtained as a starting point for our slide apparatus. The adjustment knobs on this particular mount are good for larger scale adjustments but lack fine tuning capability. Additionally this mount alone cannot be electronically controlled. The Newport translation stage is displayed below.
Next, three Thorlabs NFL5DP20 5 mm piezo translation stages were obtained to modify the Newport stage and enable electronic control. Additionally, a Thorlabs 3-axis Piezo Controller, and several BNC cables are needed to drive the Thorlabs stages.
Finally, the custom slide mount piece (see picture) will need to be attached to the apparatus in order to actually mount the slide on the apparatus.