Stable Casimir equilibria and quantum trapping

Xiang Zhang, Rongkuo Zhao, Sui Yang, Wei Bao, Yang Xia, Yang Xia, Yuan Wang, Xiang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


The Casimir interaction between two parallel metal plates in close proximity is usually thought of as an attractive interaction. By coating one object with a low-refractive index thin film, we show that the Casimir interaction between two objects of the same material can be reversed at short distances and preserved at long distances so that two objects can remain without contact at a specific distance.With such a stable Casimir equilibrium, we experimentally demonstrate passive Casimir trapping of an object in the vicinity of another at the nanometer scale,without requiring any external energy input.This stable Casimir equilibrium and quantum trapping can be used as a platform for a variety of applications such as contact-free nanomachines, ultrasensitive force sensors, and nanoscale manipulations.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)984-987
Number of pages4
Issue number6444
StatePublished - Jun 7 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-06-10
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): OSR-2016-CRG5-2950-03
Acknowledgements: This work was primarily supported by the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR) MURI program (grant N00014-17-1-2588), the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) (award OSR-2016-CRG5-2950-03), and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. We also acknowledge the AFM user facility at the Molecular Foundry, supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences (contract DE-AC02-05CH11231).
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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