Abstract

With the aim of studying electromagnetic surface wave resonance, we rigorously solve the homogeneous and inhomogeneous problem associated with an optically excited thin metallic film. We then demonstrate unambiguously that the excited eigenmode engendering plasmonic resonance in the so-called Kretschmann–Raether configuration is an unguided mode (i.e., with an anti-evanescent structure). This result, challenging the classical interpretation of the outgoing wave condition applied to surface waves, permits a quantitative interpretation of the attenuated total reflection curves.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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