How Backward Poynting Flows Arise for Surface Plasmon Waves with Lossy Metals


We revisit the surface plasmon resonances established along a planar interface lying between a lossless dielectric and a lossy metal. By examining the orbital and spin parts of the Poynting vector, the mechanisms behind forward or backward flows are clearly illustrated. Consequently, we were able to construct more intuitive pictures of two-dimensional energy flows induced by the metallic losses. In addition, we recognized the importance of both asymmetry and symmetry hidden behind the familiar transverse-magnetic waves. Our numerical results are close to reality, since experimentally observed optical data of gold is employed for a lossy metal.

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This study was financially supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Republic of Korea (NRF-2018R1D1A1B07045905).

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Correspondence to Hyoung-In Lee.

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Lee, HI., Mok, J. How Backward Poynting Flows Arise for Surface Plasmon Waves with Lossy Metals. Plasmonics 15, 679–691 (2020).

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  • Surface plasmon resonance
  • Poynting vector
  • Metallic loss
  • Orbital part
  • Spin part
  • Light spin
  • Forward flow
  • Backward flow
  • Transmittance
  • Slippage
  • Asymmetry
  • Loss-induced phenomena