Volume 112, Number 6, December 2015
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Condensed Matter: Structural, Mechanical and Thermal Properties|
|Published online||19 January 2016|
Critical Casimir force between inhomogeneous boundaries
1 IJL, CNRS & Université de Lorraine - Boulevard des Aiguillettes, F-54506 Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy Cedex, France
2 LPTMS, CNRS, Université Paris-Saclay - 91405 Orsay, France
3 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MultiScale Materials Science for Energy and Environment, Joint MIT-CNRS Laboratory (UMI 3466) - Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
4 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Physics - Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
Received: 25 September 2015
Accepted: 4 January 2016
To study the critical Casimir force between chemically structured boundaries immersed in a binary mixture at its demixing transition, we consider a strip of Ising spins subject to alternating fixed spin boundary conditions. The system exhibits a boundary phase transition as function of the relative amount of up and down boundary spins. This transition is associated with a sign change of the asymptotic force and a diverging length that sets the scale for the crossover between different universal force amplitudes. Using conformal field theory and a mapping to Majorana fermions, we obtain the universal scaling function of this crossover, and the force at short distances.
PACS: 68.35.Rh – Phase transitions and critical phenomena / 05.40.-a – Fluctuation phenomena, random processes, noise, and Brownian motion / 11.25.Hf – Conformal field theory, algebraic structures
© EPLA, 2015
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