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Paper of the month

Casimir–Lifshitz Force Based Optical Resonators


V. Esteso, V., S. Carretero-Palacios, H. Míguez The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 2019, Vol. 10, 5856-5860

We theoretically investigate the building of optical resonators based on the levitation properties of thin films subjected to strong repulsive Casimir–Lifshitz forces when immersed in an adequate medium and confronted with a planar substrate. We propose a design in which cavities supporting high Q-factor optical modes at visible frequencies can be achieved by means of combining commonly found materials, such as silicon oxide, polystyrene or gold, with glycerol as a mediating medium. We use the balance between flotation and repulsive Casimir–Lifshitz forces in the system to accurately tune the optical cavity thickness and hence its modes. The effects of other forces, such as electrostatic, that may come into play are also considered. Our results constitute a proof of concept that may open the route to the design of photonic architectures in environments in which dispersion forces play a substantial role and could be of particular relevance for devising novel microfluidic optical resonators.


Victoria Esteso