Author ORCID Identifier

Roger H. French

Document Type


Publication Date



The drive towards nanoscale assembly necessitates an accurate understanding of all the fundamental forces present in a given system to ensure the greatest chance of success. The van der Waals - London dispersion (vdW-Ld) interaction is the universal, long range, interaction that is present in all materials systems. However, scientists and engineers often either ignore or crudely approximate the vdW-Ld interactions because the calculations often appear impractical due to the 1) lack of the required full spectra optical properties and 2) lack of the proper geometrical formulation to give meaningful results. These two barriers are being actively eliminated by the introduction of robust ab initiocodes that can calculate anisotropic full spectral optical properties and by proper extensions to the Lifshitz vdW-Ld formulation that take into account anisotropic spectral optical properties as well as novel geometries. These new capabilities are of broad utility, especially in the biological community, because of the difficulty in experimental determination of full spectral optical properties of nanoscale, liquid phase biomolecules. Here we compare 3 levels of complexity of vdW-Ld interactions (optically isotropic planar, optically anisotropic planar, and optically anisotropic solid cylinder) as well as calculate and compare a variety of Hamaker coefficients relevant to these systems. For the latter two, more complex, cases, we use the ab initiooptical properties of single wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs). Our results show the effects of strong optical anisotropy upon the overall vdW-Ld interaction strength as well as the presence of strong dispersion-driven torques in both anisotropic cases, which can play a role in CNT alignment with other CNTs and also preferred CNT alignment directions with optically anisotropic substrates[1, 2].

Publication Title

Journal of Physics: Conference Series





Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.