Abstract : In the first part of this thesis, we develop both theoretical and experimental studies of a type of short range atom-surface interaction (less than 10nm) called van der Waals-Zeeman transitions. To perform this study, we first use a supersonic beam of various metastable gaz rare atoms (Ne*, Ar*, Kr*), then we use a metastable argon beam Ar*(3P2) decelerated using a standard Zeeman slower. In the first case, we observe an increase of the range of the van der Waals-Zeeman interaction with respect to the raise of the anisotropy constant n. In the second case, the increase of the range is observed as a function of the velocity decrease of a metastable argon atom from 560 to 170m/s. The combination of these two methods allows us to measure the range of the interaction (the yield of which is of a few 10^(-4)) with a spatial resolution between 2 and 3 nm. In the second part of this work, we introduce the new field of negative index media for atom optics. These media consist of potentials called comoving potentials acting in vacuum. The two major demonstrated effects produced by this type of media are: the negative refraction effect for atomic waves and the spatial narrowing of the atomic wave-packet. Finally, the application of the negative index media to evanescent waves (produced by a static magnetic potential barrier) allows a localization of these waves within a few micrometers thick zone on both sides of the potential barrier.