Fluid sensitive nanoscale switching with quantum levitation controlled by a-Sn/b-Sn phase transition
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We analyze the Lifshitz pressure between silica and tin separated by a liquid mixture of bromobenzene and chlorobenzene. We show that the phase transition from semimetallic α−Sn to metallic β−Sn can switch Lifshitz forces from repulsive to attractive. This effect is caused by the difference in dielectric functions of α−Sn and β−Sn, giving both attractive and repulsive contributions to the total Lifshitz pressure in different frequency regions controlled by the composition of the intervening liquid mixture. In this way, one may be able to produce phase-transition-controlled quantum levitation in a liquid medium.