Van der Waals torque and force between anisotropic topological insulator slabs
Date of Issue2018
School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences
We investigate the character of the van der Waals (vdW) torque and force between two coplanar and dielectrically anisotropic topological insulator (TI) slabs separated by a vacuum gap in the nonretardation regime, where the optic axes of the slabs are each perpendicular to the normal direction to the slab-gap interface and also generally differently oriented from each other. We find that in addition to the magnetoelectric coupling strength, the anisotropy can also influence the sign of the vdW force, viz., a repulsive vdW force can become attractive if the anisotropy is increased sufficiently. In addition, the vdW force oscillates as a function of the angular difference between the optic axes of the TI slabs, being most repulsive/least attractive (least repulsive/most attractive) for angular differences that are integer (half-integer) multiples of π. Our third finding is that the vdW torque for TI slabs is generally weaker than that for ordinary dielectric slabs. Our work provides an instance in which the vector potential appears in a calculation of the vdW interaction for which the limit is nonretarded or static.
Van der Waals
Physical Review B
© 2018 American Physical Society. This paper was published in Physical Review B and is made available as an electronic reprint (preprint) with permission of American Physical Society. The published version is available at: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.97.045427]. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.