Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Lilia M. Woods


Casimir interactions, Dispersion properties, graphene, Lifshitz theory, optical conductivity, quantum fluctuations


Scientific development requires profound understandings of micromechanical and nanomechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS) due to their applications not only in the technological world, but also for scientific understanding. At the micro- or nano-scale, when two objects are brought close together, the existence of stiction or adhesion is inevitable and plays an important role in the behavior operation of these systems. Such effects are due to surface dispersion forces, such as the van der Waals or Casimir interactions. The scientific understanding of these forces is particularly important for low-dimensional materials. In addition, the discovery of materials, such as graphitic systems has provided opportunities for new classes of devices and challenging fundermental problems. Therefore, invesigations of the van der Waals or Caismir forces in graphene-based systems, in particular, and the solution generating non-touching systems are needed.

In this study, the Casimir force involving 2D graphene is investigated under various conditions. The Casimir interaction is usually studied in the framework of the Lifshitz theory. According to this theory, it is essential to know the frequency-dependent reflection coefficients of materials. Here, it is found that the graphene reflection coefficients strongly depend on the optical conductivity of graphene, which is described by the Kubo formalism. When objects are placed in vacuum, the Casimir force is

attractive and leads to adhesion on the surface. We find that the Casimir repulsion can be obtained by replacing vacuum with a suitable liquid. Our studies show that bromobenzene is the liquid providing this effect. We also find that this long-range force is temperature dependent and graphene/bromobenzene/metal substrate configuration can be used to demonstrate merely thermal Casimir interaction at room temperature and micrometer distances. These findings would provide good guidance and predictions for practical studies.

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