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Casimir-Lifshitz interaction between ZnO and SiO2 nanorods in bromobenzene turns repulsive at intermediate separations due to retardation effects

Mathias Boström, Bo E. Sernelius, Gustavo Baldissera, Clas Persson, and Barry W. Ninham


Phys. Rev. A 85, 044702


We consider the interaction between a ZnO nanorod and a SiO2 nanorod in bromobenzene. Using optical data for the interacting objects and ambient we calculate the force (from short-range attractive van der Waals force to intermediate-range repulsive Casimir-Lifshitz force to long-range entropically driven attraction). The nonretarded van der Waals interaction is attractive at all separations. We demonstrate a retardation-driven repulsion at intermediate separations. At short separations (in the nonretarded limit) and at large separations (in the classical limit) the interaction is attractive. These effects can be understood from an analysis of multiple crossings of the dielectric functions of the three media as functions of imaginary frequencies.

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Last updated: 04/19/12