Nontouching nanoparticle diclusters bound by repulsive and attractive Casimir forces

Alejandro W. Rodriguez, Alexander P. McCauley, David Woolf, Federico Capasso, J. D. Joannopoulos, Steven G. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


We present a scheme for obtaining stable Casimir suspension of dielectric nontouching objects immersed in a fluid, validated here in various geometries consisting of ethanol-separated dielectric spheres and semi-infinite slabs. Stability is induced by the dispersion properties of real dielectric (monolithic) materials. A consequence of this effect is the possibility of stable configurations (clusters) of compact objects, which we illustrate via a molecular two-sphere dicluster geometry consisting of two bound spheres levitated above a gold slab. Our calculations also reveal a strong interplay between material and geometric dispersion, and this is exemplified by the qualitatively different stability behavior observed in planar versus spherical geometries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number160402
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 19 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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