Research ArticlePHYSICS

Tailoring optical metamaterials to tune the atom-surface Casimir-Polder interaction

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Science Advances  02 Feb 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 2, eaao4223
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aao4223
  • Fig. 1 Schematic of the experimental setup.

    (A) Experimental setup. (B) Real-color back-illuminated images of the 10 metamaterials. The zoom corresponds to a scanning electron microscope image. (C) Typical reflectance curve of a metamaterial showing a main plasmon resonance at λ = 760 nm. (D) Cut along one nanoslit. The false colors represent the electric field magnitude, normalized by the amplitude of the incident field, as obtained by a finite-difference frequency-domain (FDFD) simulation. EOM, electro-optic modulator; BB, beam block.

  • Fig. 2 Optical characterization of the metamaterials.

    Experimental reflection (open squares) and transmission (open circles) of the 10 metamaterials measured with the 852-nm laser. The x axis corresponds to λp, the position of the plasmon resonance of each metamaterial. The solid red squares (circles) correspond to the reflection (transmission) obtained by an FDFD numerical simulation. The lines, connecting FDFD results, are guides to the eye.

  • Fig. 3 SR spectra.

    In-phase and in-quadrature SR spectra of the plain windows (blue dots at top curves) and of two metamaterials (red dots). More spectra are shown in the Supplementary Materials. The black solid curves are the fits using Eq. 1. The dashed blue line is a fit assuming Im[ΔC3] = 0 for the metamaterial at λp = 858 nm. The residues correspond to the metamaterial at λp = 858 nm. The units are the same as for the main top curves. A.U., arbitrary units.

  • Fig. 4 The van der Waals coefficient.

    ΔC3 coefficients as a function of λp, the position of the plasmon resonance. Real part (A) and imaginary part (B) extracted from the fits of the SR signals. (C) and (D) are the real and imaginary parts of the C3 coefficients computed from the model. The dot-dashed curve corresponds to the nonretarded case (z→0). The retarded contribution is taken into account by considering an effective distance ranging from 70 to 100 nm. It corresponds to the shaded gray surface. The vertical dashed lines indicate the position of the atomic resonance.

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary material for this article is available at http://advances.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/4/2/eaao4223/DC1

    Stationary surface plasmon waves

    Mean-field approximation for the atomic vapor response

    Experimental data and fit of SR signal for all metamaterials

    Resonant photon contribution to the Casimir-Polder interaction

    Retardation effects on SR

    Finite thickness of the metamaterial

    fig. S1. Electric field simulations.

    fig. S2. SR spectra.

    fig. S3. Resonant contribution to the Casimir-Polder interaction.

    fig. S4. Retardation effects on SR.

    fig. S5. Finite thickness of the metamaterial.

  • Supplementary Materials

    This PDF file includes:

    • Stationary surface plasmon waves
    • Mean-field approximation for the atomic vapor response
    • Experimental data and fit of SR signal for all metamaterials
    • Resonant photon contribution to the Casimir-Polder interaction
    • Retardation effects on SR
    • Finite thickness of the metamaterial
    • fig. S1. Electric field simulations.
    • fig. S2. SR spectra.
    • fig. S3. Resonant contribution to the Casimir-Polder interaction.
    • fig. S4. Retardation effects on SR.
    • fig. S5. Finite thickness of the metamaterial.

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