We present a novel time-domain experimental approach to the study of the dynamics of surface electromagnetic wave propagation in a two-dimensional photonic crystal. A surface plasmon polariton is launched by ultrafast laser pulses and propagates into a photonic crystal, the dynamics of which are measured by an interferometric cross-correlation method. Plasmon photonic stopgaps are characterized by a single measurement. The dispersion around the stopgaps is determined with a series of angle-resolved measurements.
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