Quantum vacuum photon modes and repulsive Lifshitz-van der Waals interactions

Louis Dellieu, Olivier Deparis, Jérôme Muller, Branko Kolaric, Michaël Sarrazin

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    Abstract

    The bridge between quantum vacuum photon modes and properties of patterned surfaces is currently being established on solid theoretical grounds. Based on these foundations, the manipulation of quantum vacuum photon modes in a nanostructured cavity is theoretically shown to be able to change the Lifshitz-van der Waals forces from attractive to repulsive regime. Since this concept relies on surface nanopatterning instead of chemical composition changes, it drastically relaxes the usual conditions for achieving repulsive Lifshitz-van der Waals forces. As a case study, the potential interaction energy between a nanopatterned polyethylene slab and a flat polyethylene slab with water as the intervening medium is calculated. Extremely small corrugation heights (<10 nm) are shown to be able to change the Lifshitz-van der Waals force from attractive to repulsive, the interaction strength being controlled by the corrugation height. This new approach could lead to various applications in surface science.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number235418
    Number of pages9
    JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
    Volume92
    Issue number23
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2015

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