Abstract

Plasmon-polariton transport on chains of noncontacting noble-metal nanoparticles suffers from severe attenuation. A possible way of countering the attenuation by embedding the nanoparticle chain in an optical-gain medium is considered. It is found that short-wavelength surface polaritons can acquire exponential growth that can counter nonradiative loss. This is most pronounced for modes polarized transverse to the chain axis immediately outside the light line; this growth factor is likely to be sufficient to counterbalance losses and so lead to low-attenuation propagation of plasmon polaritons in nanoparticle chains.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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