Halving the Casimir force with Conductive Oxides

S.P.J. de Man, K. Heeck, R.J. Wijngaarden, D. Iannuzzi

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Abstract

The possibility to modify the strength of the Casimir effect by tailoring the dielectric functions of the interacting surfaces is regarded as a unique opportunity in the development of micro- and nanoelectromechanical systems. In air, however, one expects that, unless noble metals are used, the electrostatic force arising from trapped charges overcomes the Casimir attraction, leaving no room for exploitation of Casimir force engineering at ambient conditions. Here we show that, in the presence of a conductive oxide, the Casimir force can be the dominant interaction even in air, and that the use of conductive oxides allows one to reduce the Casimir force up to a factor of 2 when compared to noble metals. © 2009 The American Physical Society.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume103
Issue number040402
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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