Influence of ultrathin water layer on the van der Waals/Casimir force between gold surfaces

G. Palasantzas*, V. B. Svetovoy, P. J. van Zwol

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

In this paper we investigate the influence of ultrathin water layer (similar to 1-1.5 nm) on the van der Waals/Casimir force between gold surfaces. Adsorbed water is inevitably present on gold surfaces at ambient conditions as jump-up-to contact during adhesion experiments demonstrate. Calculations based on the Lifshitz theory give very good agreement with the experiment in the absence of any water layer for surface separations d greater than or similar to 10 nm. However, a layer of thickness h less than or similar to 1.5 nm is allowed by the error margin in force measurements. At shorter separations, d less than or similar to 10 nm, the water layer can have a strong influence as calculations show for flat surfaces. Nonetheless, in reality the influence of surface roughness must also be considered, and it can overshadow any water layer influence at separations comparable to the total sphere-plate rms roughness w(shp)+w.

Original languageEnglish
Article number235434
Pages (from-to)235434-1-235434-7
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Review. B: Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Volume79
Issue number23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2009

Keywords

  • CASIMIR FORCE
  • MICROELECTROMECHANICAL SYSTEMS
  • VANDERWAALS FORCES
  • WAALS FORCES
  • ROUGHNESS
  • MIRRORS
  • PHYSICS

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