Influence of the Optical Properties of Materials in the Casimir-Lifshitz Force

D. Iannuzzi, H. B. Chan, R. N. Kleiman, F. Capasso*

Bell Laboratories ­ Lucent Technologies

Murray Hill, NJ 07974, USA

The Casimir force in MicroElectroMechanical System (MEMS) is significantly influenced by the optical properties of the materials used in their construction. To emphasize this aspect, we will present two examples. First we will describe an experimental attempt to decrease the Casimir force between a sphere and a micro-torsional device by tuning in situ the reflection coefficient of the film evaporated on the sphere. In the second example we will review a recent theoretical paper (O. Kenneth et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 89, 033001 (2002)) and discuss its implications on MEMS.