Abstract

In this paper, we experimentally show the effect of waveguide discontinuity on the propagation of the surface plasmon in metal stripes and tapered terminations. Dual-plane leakage microscopy and near-field microscopy were performed on Au stripes with varied widths to image the surface plasmon intensity distribution in real and reciprocal spaces. We unambiguously demonstrate that edge diffraction is the limiting process determining the cutoff conditions of the surface plasmon mode. Finally, we determine the optimal tapered geometry leading to the highest transmission.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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