Microstructure effects for Casimir forces in chiral metamaterials

Alexander P. McCauley, Rongkuo Zhao, M. T.Homer Reid, Alejandro W. Rodriguez, Jiangfeng Zhou, F. S.S. Rosa, John D. Joannopoulos, D. A.R. Dalvit, Costas M. Soukoulis, Steven G. Johnson

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32 Scopus citations


We examine a recent prediction for the chirality dependence of the Casimir force in chiral metamaterials by numerical computation of the forces between the exact microstructures, rather than homogeneous approximations. Although repulsion in the metamaterial regime is rigorously impossible, it is unknown whether a reduction in the attractive force can be achieved through suitable material engineering. We compute the exact force for a chiral bent-cross pattern, as well as forces for an idealized "omega"-particle medium in the dilute approximation and identify the effects of structural inhomogeneity (i.e., proximity forces and anisotropy). We find that these microstructure effects dominate the force for separations where chirality was predicted to have a strong influence. At separations where the homogeneous approximation is valid, in even the most ideal circumstances the effects of chirality are less than 10-4 of the total force, making them virtually undetectable in experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number165108
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number16
StatePublished - Oct 6 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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