Casimir forces exerted by epsilon-near-zero hyperbolic materials

Sci Rep. 2020 Oct 8;10(1):16831. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-73995-0.


The Casimir force exerted on a gold dipolar nanoparticle by a finite-thickness slab of the natural hyperbolic material namely, the ortorhombic crystalline modification of boron nitride, is investigated. The main contribution to the force originates from the TM-polarized waves, for frequencies at which the parallel and perpendicular components of the dielectric tensor reach minimal values. These frequencies differ from those corresponding to the Lorentzian resonances for the permittivity components. We show that when the slab is made of an isotropic epsilon-near-zero absorbing material the force on the nanoparticle is larger than that induced by a hyperbolic material, for similar values of the characteristic parameters. This fact makes these materials optimal in the use of Casimir's forces for nanotechnology applications.