The effect of dielectric screening of a substrate by an overlayer is calculated. Both the overlayer and substrate are modeled as dielectric continua which are then treated by linearized hydrodynamics. The effect of dielectric screening is a shift of the plane to which the total van der Waals interaction is referenced. It is found that models of the atom-surface interaction based upon the pairwise summation of atom-atom potentials underestimate the total van der Waals interaction as a result of ignoring dielectric screening. Detailed calculations are then carried out for helium interacting with a rare-gas-coated silver surface.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry