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Speaker: Victoria Esteso Carrizo, IUPUI Location: LD 010

Casimir force and levitation phenomena between parallel plates

Lifshitz's theory extends the Casimir effect to realistic materials and predicts that the Casimir force between two bodies separated by a material medium may be repulsive. However, it is not trivial to find which combinations of realistic materials present that repulsive Casimir force, which is relevant and useful in micro- or nano-devices to minimize friction, adhesion or stiction between two bodies.

Since the Casimir force depends on the dielectric function of materials, among other magnitudes, we study the Casimir force from the point of view of optical materials science in plane-parallel systems consisting of a thin film immersed in a fluid over a substrate. We look for combinations of realistic material, attending to their dielectric function, that present repulsive Casimir force and analyse theoretically how the optical properties of nanostructure materials affect to the Casimir force. Moreover, the repulsive Casimir force may counteract the effect of the gravity and give rise to levitation phenomena. This fact will be used to observe indirectly how the nature and the intensity of the Casimir force change due to changes in the optical properties of materials involved. Finally, as the Casimir force also depends on temperature we also study how slight deviations of temperature from room temperature may change the Casimir force in the simplest systems here studied and how that alters the levitation phenomena.

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