Graduation Year

2009

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Physics

Major Professor

Lilia M. Woods, Ph.D.

Keywords

Electromagnetic interactions, Casimir force, Nanotechnology, Mathematical methods, Carbon nanotubes

Abstract

Casimir forces originating from vacuum fluctuations of the electromagnetic fields are of increasing importance in many scientific and technological areas. The manifestations of these long-range forces at the nanoscale have led to the need of better understanding of their contribution in relation to the stability of different physical systems as well as the operation of various technological components and devices. This dissertation presents mathematical and theoretical methods to calculate the Casimir interaction in various infinitely long cylindrical nanostructures. A dielectric-diamagnetic cylindrical layer immersed in a medium is first considered. The layer has a finite thickness characterized with specific dielectric and magnetic properties. Another system considered is that of perfectly conducting concentric cylindrical shells immersed in a medium. The electromagnetic energy between two infinitely long straight parallel dielectric-diamagnetic cylinders immersed in a medium is also considered. The mode summation method is used to calculate the Casimir energy of all these systems. The energy dependence on the cylindrical radial curvature and dielectric response of the cylinders is investigated. The fundamental effects of these long range interactions are studied in the form of exciton-plasmon interactions in carbon nanotubes and this is achieved by looking at the dielectric response of carbon nanotubes.

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