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Experimental and theoretical investigation of the angular dependence of the Casimir force between sinusoidally corrugated surfaces


In the current work we present the complete results for the measurement of normal Casimir force between a shallow and smooth sinusoidally corrugated gold coated sphere and a plate at various angles between the corrugations using an atomic force microscope. All measured data were compared with the theoretical approach using the proximity force approximation and theory based on derivative expansion. In both cases real material properties of the surfaces and nonzero temperature were taken into account. Special attention is paid to the description of electrostatic interactions between corrugated surfaces at different angles between corrugations and samples preparation and characterization. The measured forces are found to be in good agreement with the theory including correlation effects of geometry and material properties and deviate significantly from the predictions of the proximity force approximation approach. This provides the quantitative confirmation for the observation of diffraction-type effects that are disregarded within the PFA approach. The obtained results open new opportunities for control of the Casimir effect in micromechanical systems. © 2014 American Physical Society.

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