Switching Casimir forces with phase-change materials

G. Torricelli, P.J. van Zwol, O. Shpak, C. Binns, G. Palasantzas, B.J. Kooi, Vitaly Svetovoy, M. Wuttig

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    We demonstrate here a controllable variation in the Casimir force. Changes in the force of up to 20% at separations of similar to 100 nm between Au and Ag-In-Sb-Te (AIST) surfaces were achieved on crystallization of an amorphous sample of AIST. This material is well known for its structural transformation, which produces a significant change in the optical properties and is exploited in optical data storage systems. The finding paves the way to the control of forces in nanosystems, such as micro- or nanoswitches, by stimulating the phase-change transition via localized heat sources.
    Original languageUndefined
    Pages (from-to)010101R
    Number of pages4
    JournalPhysical review A: Atomic, molecular, and optical physics
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2010


    • IR-75838
    • METIS-276759
    • EWI-19386

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