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Role of surface plasmons in the Casimir effect

  • In this paper we study the role of surface plasmon modes in the Casimir effect. The Casimir energy can be written as a sum over the modes of a real cavity and one may identify two sorts of modes, two evanescent surface plasmon modes and propagative modes. As one of the surface plasmon modes becomes propagative for some choice of parameters we adopt an adiabatic mode definition where we follow this mode into the propagative sector and count it together with the surface plasmon contribution, calling this contribution ``plasmonic''. We evaluate analytically the contribution of the plasmonic modes to the Casimir energy. Surprisingly we find that this becomes repulsive for intermediate and large mirror separations. The contribution of surface plasmons to the Casimir energy plays a fundamental role not only at short but also at large distances. This suggests possibilities to taylor the Casimir force via a manipulation of the surface plasmon properties.

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Author:Francesco Intravaia, Carsten Henkel, Astrid Lambrecht
Document Type:Article
Year of first Publication:2007
Year of Completion:2007
Release Date:2017/03/25
Source:Physical Review A. - 76 (2007), 033820
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Physik und Astronomie