Dr Valeria Garbin
Chemical Engineering
Imperial College London
London SW7 2AZ
+44 20 759 42878
v.garbin at

Postdoc position

A postdoc position on soft matter and rheology will become available in Autumn 2017 as part of the ExtreFlow project. For more information, visit the project page here




COST Action 'Flowing Matter'

The Department of Chemical Engineering is a member of

Optical Trapping

We used holographic optical tweezers to study soft matter systems including cells, liposomes and microbubbles. The setup we developed enabled us to generate an arbitrary number of traps of prescribed shape and in three dimensions. With TASC National Laboratory.

We combined for the first time optical trapping with small-angle X-ray scattering. We were able to isolate a single liposome in the focus of the X-ray beam of the Microfocus beamline at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility.

optical tweezersIn collaboration with the Physics of Fluids Group at the University of Twente, we used optical tweezers to manipulate biomedical microbubbles. Bubbles are low-refractive index particles, and can only be trapped by a laser beam with a minimum of intensity on the optical axis, such as a Laguerre-Gaussian beam. Using holography we generated single and multiple traps for controlled dynamic studies of microbubble dynamics.

We also observed an intriguing phenomenon of the scattering of Laguerre-Gaussian beams by particles, which was predicted by our collaborators at the Institute of Photonic Sciences: the Mie scattering pattern reveals the sign of the topological charge of a Laguerre-Gaussian beam.

back to Research


V. Garbin, G. Volpe. E. Ferrari, M. Versluis, D. Cojoc and D. Petrov, Mie Scattering distinguishes the topological charge of an optical vortex, New Journal of Physics 11, 013046, 11 pages (2009)

D. Cojoc, E. Ferrari, V. Garbin, E. Di Fabrizio, H. Amenitsch, M. Rappolt, B. Sartori, P. Laggner, M. Burghammer, C. Riekel, Scanning X-ray microdiffraction of optically manipulated liposomes, Applied Physics Letters 91, 234107 (2007)

V. Garbin, D. Cojoc, E. Ferrari, E. Di Fabrizio, M. L. J. Overvelde, S. M. van der Meer, N. de Jong, D. Lohse and M. Versluis, Changes in microbubble dynamics near a boundary revealed by combined optical micromanipulation and high-speed imaging, Applied Physics Letters 90, 114103 (2007)

A. R. Moradi, E. Ferrari, V. Garbin, E. Di Fabrizio, D. Cojoc, Strength control in multiple optical traps generated by means of diffractive optical elements, Optoelectronics and Advanced Materials 1, 158-161 (2007)

V. Emiliani, D. Cojoc, E. Ferrari, V. Garbin, C. Durieux, M. Coppey-Moisan, E. Di Fabrizio, Wave front engineering for microscopy of living cells, Optics Express 13, 1395-1405 (2005)

V. Garbin, D. Cojoc, E. Ferrari, R. Z. Proietti, S. Cabrini, E. Di Fabrizio, Optical micro-manipulation using Laguerre-Gaussian beams, Japanese Journal of Applied Physics 44, 5773-5776 (2005)

D. Cojoc, V. Garbin, E. Ferrari, L. Businaro, F. Romanato, E. Di Fabrizio, Laser trapping and micro-manipulation using optical vortices, Microelectronic Engineering 78-79, 125-131 (2005)

E. Ferrari, V. Emiliani, D. Cojoc, V. Garbin, M. Zahid, C. Durieux, M. Coppey-Moisan, E. Di Fabrizio, Biological samples micro-manipulation by means of optical tweezers, Microelectronic Engineering 78-79, 575-581 (2005)

E. Di Fabrizio, D. Cojoc, V. Emiliani, S. Cabrini, M. Coppey-Moisan, E. Ferrari, V. Garbin, M. Altissimo, Microscopy of biological samples through advanced diffractive optics from visible to X-ray wavelength regime, Microscopy Research and Technique 65, 252-262 (2004)