The Casimir--Polder interaction between an anisotropic particle and a surface is orientation dependent. We study novel orientational effects that arise due to curvature of the surface for distances much smaller than the radii of curvature by employing a derivative expansion. For nanoparticles we derive a general short distance expansion of the interaction potential in terms of their dipolar polarizabilities. Explicit results are presented for nano-spheroids made of SiO2 and gold, both at zero and at finite temperatures. The preferred orientation of the particle is strongly dependent on curvature, temperature, as well as material properties.

VL - 92 IS - 2 JO - Phys. Rev. D ER -