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Towards a Casimir Force Measurement between Micromachined Parallel Plate Structures

Research Institute, University of Twente, P.O.Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
University of Freiburg, Germany, Albertstr. 19, 76104 Freiburg, Germany 
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Challenges 2012, 3(2), 261-277;
Received: 4 September 2012 / Revised: 22 October 2012 / Accepted: 5 November 2012 / Published: 20 November 2012
Ever since its prediction, experimental investigation of the Casimir force has been of great scientific interest. Many research groups have successfully attempted quantifying the force with different device geometries; however, measurement of the Casimir force between parallel plates with sub-micron separation distance is still a challenging task, since it becomes extremely difficult to maintain sufficient parallelism between the plates. The Casimir force can significantly influence the operation of micro devices and to realize reliable and reproducible devices it is necessary to understand and experimentally verify the influence of the Casimir force at sub-micron scale. In this paper, we present the design principle, fabrication and characterization of micromachined parallel plate structures that could allow the measurement of the Casimir force with tunable separation distance in the range of 100 to 1000 nm. Initially, a gold coated parallel plate structure is explored to measure the Casimir force, but also other material combinations could be investigated. Using gold-silicon eutectic bonding, a reliable approach to bond chips with integrated suspended plates together with a well-defined separation distance in the order of 1–2 μm is developed. View Full-Text
Keywords: Casimir force; parallel plate geometry; bulk micromachining Casimir force; parallel plate geometry; bulk micromachining
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Nawazuddin, M.B.S.; Lammerink, T.S.J.; Berenschot, E.; Boer, M.D.; Ma, K.-C.; Elwenspoek, M.C.; Wiegerink, R.J. Towards a Casimir Force Measurement between Micromachined Parallel Plate Structures. Challenges 2012, 3, 261-277.

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