2007 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show - Nanotech 2007 - 10th Annual

Reduction of the Casimir force in nanodevices using aerogels

R. Esquivel-Sirvent and J. Luque
Instituto de Fisica, UNAM, MX

Casimir, stability, mems, nems, aerogels

By using silicon oxide based aerogels we show that the Casimir force in nanodevices can be reduced several orders of magnitude making it possible to control the jump-to-contact in nanodevices. To calculate the Casimir force we use the Lifshitz formula and the dielectric function of silicon oxide aerogels is modeled using an effective medium dielectric function such as the Clausius-Mossotti approximation. The results show that both the porosity of the aerogel and its thickness can be use as a control parameter to reduce the magnitude of the Casimir force. The reduction in the force can be explained by the variation of the optical length with frequency in the aerogel.

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