Potsdam University Potsdam Quantum Optics Group

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C. Henkel, K. Joulain, J. P. Mulet, and J. J. Greffet
Radiation forces on small particles in thermal near fields
J. Opt. A: Pure Appl. Opt. 4 (2002) S109-14, proceedings of the EOS Topical Meeting ``Electromagnetic Optics'' (Paris 26-30 august 2001).


    We study the optical forces due to the radiation of a thermal source. Our model consists of a particle modelled by a dipole above a half-space at temperature T. The fluctuating fields are computed using the Lifshitz model. We find two contributions to the force: a repulsive ``wind'' component and a dispersive force mainly due to the contribution of thermally excited surface waves. It is found that for SiC material, the latter is repulsive in the very near field. The usual van der Waals force is larger by a factor of approximately ten for submicron size particles.

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