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Phys Rev Lett. 2005 Feb 11;94(5):057403. Epub 2005 Feb 7.

Quantum fluctuations of the refractive index near the interface between a metal and a nonlinear dielectric.

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  • 1Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742, USA.


Zero-point fluctuations of surface plasmon modes near the interface between a metal and a nonlinear dielectric are shown to produce a thin layer of shifted fluctuating dielectric constant near the interface. The shift of the dielectric constant in this layer may be sufficiently large to produce multiple metastable states of the surface plasmon vacuum.

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