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Casimir force between atomically thin gold films


M. Boström, C. Persson, and Bo E. Sernelius

European Physical Journal B   (2013) 86: 43

DOI: 10.1140/epjb/e2012-31051-9


We have used density functional theory to calculate the anisotropic dielectric functions for ultrathin gold sheets (composed of 1, 3, 6, and 15 atomic layers). Such films are important components in nano-electromechanical systems. When using correct dielectric functions rather than bulk gold dielectric functions we predict an enhanced attractive Casimir-Lifshitz force (at most around 20%) between two

atomically thin gold sheets. For thicker sheets the dielectric properties and the corresponding Casimir forces approach those of gold half-spaces. The magnitude of the corrections that we predict should, within the today’s level of accuracy in Casimir force measurements, be clearly detectable.

Figure: Ratio of the Casimir-Lifshitz force as a function of separation, l, between thin films calculated with realistic anisotropic dielectric functions and from the corresponding force calculated using the isotropic bulk dielectric function.

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Last updated: 02/06/13