Switching Casimir forces with phase-change materials

G. Torricelli*, P. J. van Zwol, O. Shpak, C. Binns, G. Palasantzas, B. J. Kooi, V. B. Svetovoy, M. Wuttig

*Corresponding author for this work

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We demonstrate here a controllable variation in the Casimir force. Changes in the force of up to 20% at separations of similar to 100 nm between Au and Ag-In-Sb-Te (AIST) surfaces were achieved on crystallization of an amorphous sample of AIST. This material is well known for its structural transformation, which produces a significant change in the optical properties and is exploited in optical data storage systems. The finding paves the way to the control of forces in nanosystems, such as micro- or nanoswitches, by stimulating the phase-change transition via localized heat sources.

Original languageEnglish
Article number010101
Pages (from-to)010101-1-010101-4
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9-Jul-2010

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