Abstract

Making use of a rigorous electromagnetic treatment, we demonstrate that the approximate results that are customarily employed for the analysis of a plasmon field at a metal/dielectric boundary are incorrect even in some situations in which they are supposed to hold. We show further that a new type of surface-plasmon solution exists that does not follow from the standard approximate analysis. Energy-flow considerations indicate that the new polariton is a backward-propagating surface wave, as encountered in manmade structures. Our results are likely to find applications in metal/semiconductor and metamaterial plasmonics.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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