Kelvin probe force microscopy of metallic surfaces used in Casimir force measurements

R. O. Behunin, D. A.R. Dalvit, R. S. Decca, C. Genet, I. W. Jung, A. Lambrecht, A. Liscio, D. López, S. Reynaud, G. Schnoering, G. Voisin, Y. Zeng

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42 Scopus citations


Kelvin probe force microscopy at normal pressure was performed by two different groups on the same Au-coated planar sample used to measure the Casimir interaction in a sphere-plane geometry. The obtained voltage distribution was used to calculate the separation dependence of the electrostatic pressure Pres(D) in the configuration of the Casimir experiments. In the calculation it was assumed that the potential distribution in the sphere has the same statistical properties as the measured one, and that there are no correlation effects on the potential distributions due to the presence of the other surface. The result of this calculation, using the currently available knowledge, is that Pres(D) does not explain the magnitude or the separation dependence of the difference ΔP(D) between the measured Casimir pressure and the one calculated using a Drude model for the electromagnetic response of Au. We discuss in the conclusions the points which have to be checked out by future work, including the influence of pressure and a more accurate determination of the patch distribution, in order to confirm these results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number062115
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 11 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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