Zeitschrift für Physik A Hadrons and nuclei

, Volume 216, Issue 4, pp 398–410

Excitation of nonradiative surface plasma waves in silver by the method of frustrated total reflection

  • Andreas Otto

DOI: 10.1007/BF01391532

Cite this article as:
Otto, A. Z. Physik (1968) 216: 398. doi:10.1007/BF01391532


A new method of exciting nonradiative surface plasma waves (SPW) on smooth surfaces, causing also a new phenomena in total reflexion, is described. Since the phase velocity of the SPW at a metal-vacuum surface is smaller than the velocity of light in vacuum, these waves cannot be excited by light striking the surface, provided that this is perfectly smooth.

However, if a prism is brought near to the metal vacuum-interface, the SPW can be excited optically by the evanescent wave present in total reflection. The excitation is seen as a strong decrease in reflection for the transverse magnetic light and for a special angle of incidence. The method allows of an accurate evaluation of the dispersion of these waves. The experimental results on a silver-vacuum surface are compared with the theory of metal optics and are found to agree within the errors of the optical constants.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1968

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andreas Otto
    • 1
  1. 1.Sektion Physik der Universität MünchenDeutschland

Personalised recommendations