Nonequilibrium lateral force and torque by thermally excited nonreciprocal surface electromagnetic waves

Chinmay Khandekar, Siddharth Buddhiraju, Paul R. Wilkinson, James K. Gimzewski, Alejandro W. Rodriguez, Charles Chase, Shanhui Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


We show that an isotropic dipolar particle in the vicinity of a substrate made of nonreciprocal plasmonic materials can experience a lateral thermal-fluctuations-induced force and torque when the particle's temperature differs from that of the slab and the environment. We connect the existence of the lateral force to the asymmetric dispersion of nonreciprocal surface polaritons and the existence of the lateral torque to the spin-momentum locking of such surface waves. Using the formalism of fluctuational electrodynamics, we show that the features of lateral force and torque should be experimentally observable using a substrate of doped indium antimonide (InSb) placed in an external magnetic field, and for a variety of dielectric particles. Interestingly, we also find that the directions of the lateral force and the torque depend on the constituent materials of the particles, which suggests a sorting mechanism based on nonequilibrium fluctuational electrodynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number245433
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 15 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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