Weak dispersive forces between glass and gold macroscopic surfaces in alcohols

P. J. van Zwol, G. Palasantzas*, J. Th. M. DeHosson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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In this work we concentrate on an experimental validation of the Lifshitz theory for the van der Waals and the Casimir forces in gold-alcohol-glass systems. From this theory weak dispersive forces are predicted when the dielectric properties of the intervening medium become comparable to one of the interacting surfaces. Using inverse colloid probe atomic force microscopy dispersive forces were measured occasionally and under controlled conditions by addition of salt to screen the electrostatic double layer force if present. The dispersive force was found to be attractive and an order of magnitude weaker than that in air. Although the theoretical description of the forces becomes less precise for these systems even with full knowledge of the dielectric properties, we find still our results in reasonable agreement with the Lifshitz theory.

Original languageEnglish
Article number041605
Pages (from-to)041605-1-041605-7
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2009


  • atomic force microscopy
  • Casimir effect
  • colloids
  • glass
  • gold
  • surface phenomena
  • van der Waals forces

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