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Volume 77, Number 4, February 2007
Article Number 44006
Number of page(s) 5
Section Electromagnetism, Optics, Acoustics, Heat Transfer, Classical Mechanics, and Fluid Dynamics
Published online 12 February 2007
EPL, 77 (2007) 44006
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/77/44006

The Casimir effect for silicon and gold slabs

A. Lambrecht1, I. Pirozhenko1, L. Duraffourg2 and Ph. Andreucci2

1  Laboratoire Kastler Brossel, CNRS, ENS, UPMC - Campus Jussieu case 74, 75252 Paris, France
2  CEA/LETI - MINATEC, Silicon Heterogen Integration Division, Microsystems Component Laboratory 17 rue des Martyrs, 38054 Grenoble Cedex 9, France

received 23 November 2006; accepted in final form 22 December 2006; published February 2007
published online 12 February 2007

We present calculations of the Casimir force between silicon and gold slabs of variable thickness. For silicon, the force is found to depend strongly on slab thickness and to decrease rapidly when the slab separation exceeds the thickness. For gold, Drude and plasma models give qualitatively different predictions for the Casimir force at large slab separations. We explain the influence of slab thickness by analyzing the phase factor acquired by the vacuum field when propagating inside the material slab. The present results could be interesting for nanotechnologies to eliminate an unwanted Casimir force.

42.50.Ct - Quantum description of interaction of light and matter; related experiments.
12.20.Ds - Specific calculations.
12.20.-m - Quantum electrodynamics.

© Europhysics Letters Association 2007