Abstract

Effects of optical absorption on surface plasma waves are computed from the Fresnel reflection and transmission coefficients for a metallic thin film. It is shown that the angle of incidence at which the reflectivity exhibits a deep minimum is greater than the angle of incidence at which the H field of the surface plasma wave at the metal–vacuum surface exhibits maximum amplitude. Surface plasma waves can have maximum amplitude at an angle of incidence where reflectivity is near maximum, and a deep minimum in reflectivity can occur without the simultaneous excitation of intense surface plasma waves.

© 1987 Optical Society of America

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