Abstract

We demonstrate the existence of a bound optical mode supported by a slot in a thin metallic film deposited on a substrate, with slot dimensions much smaller than the wavelength. The modal size is almost completely dominated by the near field of the slot. Consequently, the size is very small compared with the wavelength, even when the dispersion relation of the mode approaches the light line of the surrounding media. In addition, the group velocity of this mode is close to the speed of light in the substrate, and its propagation length is tens of micrometers at the optical communication wavelength.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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