SURFACE PLASMON POLARITON GUIDING IN PHOTONIC BANDGAP STRUCTURES
Surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) are quasi-two-dimensional electromagnetic excitations, propagating along a dielectric-metal interface and having the field components decaying exponentially into both neighboring media. The field of a plane SPP comprises a magnetic field component, which is parallel to the interface plane and perpendicular to the SPP propagation direction, and two electric field components, of which the main one is perpendicular to the interface (Fig. 6.1(a)). SPPs can be tightly bound to the metal surface, penetrating on the order of 100 nm into the dielectric and ∼10 nm into the metal. This feature implies the possibility of using SPPs for miniature photonic circuits and optical interconnects and has attracted a great deal of attention to SPPs. It has been shown using numerical simulations that nanometersized metal rods can support extremely confined SPP modes, though only propagating over hundreds of nanometers. Similar properties were expected4 and indeed found for the electromagnetic excitations supported by chains of metal nano-spheres. Metal stripes of finite width can also be employed to laterally confine the SPP propagation along the stripes.
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