Casimir forces from conductive silicon carbide surfaces

Mehdi Sedighi Ghozotkhar, V. B. Svetovoy, W. H. Broer, G. Palasantzas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Samples of conductive silicon carbide (SiC), which is a promising material due to its excellent properties for devices operating in severe environments, were characterized with the atomic force microscope for roughness, and the optical properties were measured with ellipsometry in a wide range of frequencies. The samples show significant far-infrared absorption due to concentration of charge carriers and a sharp surface phonon-polariton peak. The Casimir interaction of SiC with different materials is calculated and discussed. As a result of the infrared structure and beyond to low frequencies, the Casimir force for SiC-SiC and SiC-Au approaches very slowly the limit of ideal metals, while it saturates significantly below this limit if interaction with insulators takes place (SiC-SiO2). At short separations (<10 nm) analysis of the van der Waals force yielded Hamaker constants for SiC-SiC interactions lower but comparable to those of metals, which is of significance to adhesion and surface assembly processes. Finally, bifurcation analysis of microelectromechanical system actuation indicated that SiC can enhance the regime of stable equilibria against stiction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number195440
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review. B: Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Volume89
Issue number19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27-May-2014

Keywords

  • GOLD SURFACES
  • MICROSCOPY
  • TECHNOLOGY
  • ROUGHNESS
  • CONTACT
  • PHYSICS
  • RANGE

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