Enlarged molecules from excited atoms in nanochannels

Mathias Boström*, Iver Brevik, Bo E. Sernelius, Maofeng Dou, Clas Persson, Barry W. Ninham

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    The resonance interaction that takes place in planar nanochannels between pairs of excited-state atoms is explored. We consider interactions in channels of silica, zinc oxide, and gold. The nanosized channels induce a dramatically different interaction from that in free space. Illustrative calculations for two lithium and cesium atoms demonstrate that there is a short-range repulsion followed by long-range attraction. The binding energy is strongest near the surfaces. The size of the enlarged molecule is biggest at the center of the cavity and increases with channel width. Since the interaction is generic, we predict that enlarged molecules are formed in porous structures, and that the molecule size depends on the size of the nanochannels.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number014701
    JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2012


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