Abstract

Although surface polariton modes supported by finite-width interfaces can guide electromagnetic energy in three dimensions, we demonstrate for the first time to our knowledge that such modes can be modeled by the solutions of two-dimensional dielectric slab waveguides. An approximate model is derived by a ray-optics interpretation that is consistent with previous investigations of the Fresnel relations for surface polariton reflection. This model is compared with modal solutions for metal stripe waveguides obtained by full vectorial magnetic-field finite-difference methods. The field-symmetric modes of such waveguides are shown to be in agreement with the normalized dispersion relationship for analogous TE modes of dielectric slab waveguides. Lateral confinement is investigated by comparison of power-density profiles, and implications for the diffraction limit of guided polariton modes are discussed.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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