Impact of effective polarisability models on the near-field interaction of dissolved greenhouse gases at ice and air interfaces

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We present a theory for Casimir-Polder forces acting on greenhouse gas molecules dissolved in a thin water film. Such a nano-sized film has been predicted to arise on the surface of melting ice as stabilized by repulsive Lifshitz forces. We show that different models for the effective polarisability of greenhouse gas molecules in water lead to different predictions for how Casimir-Polder forces influence their extractions from the melting ice surface. For instance, in the most intricate model of a finite-sized molecule inside a cavity, dispersion potentials push the methane molecules towards the ice surface whereas the oxygen typically will be attracted towards the closest interface (ice or air). Previous models for effective polarisability had suggested that O2 would also be pushed towards the ice surface. Release of greenhouse gas molecules from the surface of melting ice can potentially influence climate greenhouse effects. With this model, we show that some molecules cannot escape from water as single molecules. Due to the contradiction of the results and the escape dynamics of gases from water, we extended the models to describe bubble filled with several molecules increasing their buoyancy force.


  • Johannes Fiedler
  • Drew F. Parsons
  • Friedrich Anton Burger
  • Priyadarshini Thiyam
  • Michael Walter
  • I. Brevik
  • Clas Persson
  • Stefan Yoshi Buhmann
  • Mathias Boström
External organisations
  • Albert-Ludwigs University Freiburg
  • Murdoch University
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • University of Oslo
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials (IWM)
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Climate Research
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21296-21304
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical chemistry chemical physics : PCCP
Issue number38
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct 14
Publication categoryResearch