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Opt Express. 2009 Sep 28;17(20):17837-48. doi: 10.1364/OE.17.017837.

Side-coupled cavity model for surface plasmon-polariton transmission across a groove.

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Geballe Laboratory for Advanced Materials, Stanford, California 94305, USA.


We demonstrate that the transmission properties of surface plasmon-polaritons (SPPs) across a rectangular groove in a metallic film can be described by an analytical model that treats the groove as a side-coupled cavity to propagating SPPs on the metal surface. The coupling efficiency to the groove is quantified by treating it as a truncated metal-dielectric-metal (MDM) waveguide. Finite-difference frequency-domain (FDFD) simulations and mode orthogonality relations are employed to derive the basic scattering coefficients that describe the interaction between the relevant modes in the system. The modeled SPP transmission and reflection intensities show excellent agreement with full-field simulations over a wide range of groove dimensions, validating this intuitive model. The model predicts the sharp transmission minima that occur whenever an incident SPP resonantly couples to the groove. We also for the first time show the importance of evanescent, reactive MDM SPP modes to the transmission behavior. SPPs that couple to this mode are resonantly enhanced upon reflection from the bottom of the groove, leading to high field intensities and sharp transmission minima across the groove. The resonant behavior exhibited by the grooves has a number of important device applications, including SPP mirrors, filters, and modulators.

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