The first measurements of the absorption coefficient of materials via surface electromagnetic wave (SEW) techniques are reported. By simply laying samples on a metal sheet on which SEW were passing, the transmittances and absorption coefficients of the sample have been determined. These measurements were made at microwave frequencies, but the general techniques are applicable over the entire frequency range from microwaves into the near ir. Solid samples were used in these measurements, but liquid or gases could also be studied by this new easy-to-use technique. Comments about the applicability of the technique to very thin samples are made. Another result reported is the existence of different propagating SEW modes as a function of the height of a sample (film thickness) measured from the metal-sample interface to the top of the sample at the sample-vacuum interface above.
© 1975 Optical Society of AmericaPDF Article