Experiments that demonstrate active engineering of atom-surface interactions by the use of nanostructures were performed in the frame of a collaboration between Athanasios Laliotis and Matial Ducloy of the group SAI of LPL and the group of David Wilkowski, in the Nanyang Technical University (NTU) of Singapour.
Using nanofabrication techniques, the authors have imprinted an array of holes onto a metallic nanolayer deposited on a dielectric glass surface. Changing the size and periodicity of the nanostructures (meta-materials) allows tuning of the plasmonic resonance of the surface. The authors have subsequently measured the Casimir-Polder interaction of cesium atoms with the metamaterials using selective reflection spectroscopy. The experiments demonstrated that tuning the plasmonic resonance of the meta-material around the atomic transition of cesium atoms strongly modifies the Casimir-Polder interaction. The possibility of shaping quantum vacuum forces with metamaterials can have important applications for trapping and controlling trapped quantum emitters at nanometric distances away from surfaces.
This work is published in Sciences Advances et available on arXiv:1606.07990.