Optical excitation of surface plasma waves without grating structures
by H.-Y. Deng, F. Liu and K. Wakabayashi from EPL (Europhysics Letters) vol. 114 (2016) 35002
Surface plasma waves (SPWs) are usually discussed in the context of a metal in contact with a dielectric. However, they can also exist between two metals. In this work we study these bimetallic waves. We find that their dispersion curve always cuts the light line, which allows direct optical coupling without surface grating structures. We propose practical schemes to excite them and the excitation efficiency is estimated. We also show that these waves can be much less lossy than conventional SPWs and their losses can be systematically controlled, a highly desirable attribute in applications. Conducting metal oxides seem fit for experimental studies.