A micromachined optical 'trap' to capture and move micron sized dielectric particles is presented. The trap consists of four single mode optical fibers mutually aligned to have a common optical beam intersection at the center of a micromachined housing. The intersection of the beams forms an optical 'cross-hair' which captures dielectric microparticles with a strong optical gradient force field, and holds them for further manipulation, visualization, and/or analysis. The stability and magnitude of the trapping force fields are comparable to the single beam 'optical tweezers' technique, but are considerably more versatile.© (1997) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.