We predict the existence of an unexpected interference pattern in the profile of light reflected from a multilayered surface under the conditions for excitation of a waveguide mode or surface plasmon. Observation of the interference effect is shown to require passage of the incident light through a lens or pinhole to produce a spread of incident angles on either side of the resonance angle. The effect has possible application to enhancement of the sensitivity of measurements of changes in the index of refraction of substrate materials.
© 2005 Optical Society of America
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