Casimir force between sharp-shaped conductors

TitleCasimir force between sharp-shaped conductors
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsMaghrebi, MF, Rahi, SJamal, Emig, T, Graham, N, Jaffe, RL, Kardar, M
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Pages6867 - 6871
Date Published2011/04/11

Casimir forces between conductors at the sub-micron scale cannot be ignored
in the design and operation of micro-electromechanical (MEM) devices. However,
these forces depend non-trivially on geometry, and existing formulae and
approximations cannot deal with realistic micro-machinery components with sharp
edges and tips. Here, we employ a novel approach to electromagnetic scattering,
appropriate to perfect conductors with sharp edges and tips, specifically to
wedges and cones. The interaction of these objects with a metal plate (and
among themselves) is then computed systematically by a multiple-scattering
series. For the wedge, we obtain analytical expressions for the interaction
with a plate, as functions of opening angle and tilt, which should provide a
particularly useful tool for the design of MEMs. Our result for the Casimir
interactions between conducting cones and plates applies directly to the force
on the tip of a scanning tunneling probe; the unexpectedly large temperature
dependence of the force in these configurations should attract immediate
experimental interest.

Short TitleProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences