Abstract

In this work we study surface plasmon polariton (SPP) wave-packet dynamics in a new class of plasmonic crystals—plasmonic crystals with monotonically varying-in-space geometrical or optical parameters. Using both a semianalytical approach based on the WKB equations for the SPP dynamics and rigorous electromagnetic modeling [based on the finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method], we have demonstrated that, by changing the SPP pulse central frequency and spectral bandwidth, it is possible to switch among different important scenarios of the SPP motion: SPP wave-packet acceleration, deceleration, and tunneling to the adjacent plasmonic band. These SPP motion regimes are unique for the considered class of the plasmonic crystals. In addition to that, pronounced broadening of the reflected pulses and significant outburst of absorption in the “slow SPP” region are shown. Aforementioned effects and the fact that they can be easily tuned by variation of the pulse parameters hold a great promise for applications in plasmonic devices.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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