Waveguides and passive integrated optics elements constructed from thin metal films of finite width embedded in a homogeneous background dielectric and propagating long-range surface plasmon polaritons (LRSPPs) have been characterized experimentally at free-space optical wavelengths near 1550 nm. Straight and curved waveguides, s-bends, four-port couplers, y-junctions, and Mach-Zehnder interferometers have been carefully characterized. Additionally, rigorous models based on modal decomposition have been proposed for all of these elements and validated via comparisons with the measurements. Excellent qualitative and quantitative agreement between theory and experiment is observed for all structures over all measurement wavelengths. It is hoped that this work will help further establish this new integrated optics technology, taking it beyond demonstrators.
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