Properties of surface plasmon polaritons on lossy materials: lifetimes, periods and excitation conditions

Journal of Optics 18, 115007 (2016)

Properties of surface plasmon polaritons on lossy materials: lifetimes, periods and excitation conditions

Thibault J.-Y. Derrien, Jörg Krüger, Jörn Bonse

The possibility to excite surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) at the interface between two media depends on the optical properties of both media and geometrical aspects. Specific conditions allowing the coupling of light with a plasmon-active interface must be satisfied. Plasmonic effects are well described in noble metals where the imaginary part of the dielectric permittivity is often neglected (‘perfect medium approximation (PMA)’). However, some systems exist for which such approximation cannot be applied, hence requiring a refinement of the common SPP theory. In this context, several properties of SPPs such as excitation conditions, period of the electromagnetic field modulation and SPP lifetime then may strongly deviate from that of the PMA. In this paper, calculations taking into account the imaginary part of the dielectric permittivities are presented. The model identifies analytical terms which should not be neglected in the mathematical description of SPPs on lossy materials. These calculations are applied to numerous material combinations resulting in a prediction of the corresponding SPP features. A list of plasmon-active interfaces is provided along with a quantification of the above mentioned SPP properties in the regime where the PMA is not applicable.

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Fruitful discussions and support from ProfessorN MBulgakova are gratefully acknowledged. Critical discussions of the mathematical calculations with DrY Levy are also acknowledged. The authors also acknowledge the fruitful remarks of one of the anonymous referees. This research was supported by the state budget of the Czech Republic (project HiLASE: Superlasers for the real world: LO1602). T J-Y D acknowledges the support of Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions (MSCA) Individual Fellowship of the European’s Union’s (EU) Horizon 2020 Programme under grant agreement ‘QuantumLaP’ No. 657424.

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