Surface plasmon beats formed on thin metal films

Jie Yao, Yongmin Liu, Zhaowei Liu, Cheng Sun, Xiang Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


Surface plasmon polaritons, sometimes referred to as Surface Plasmons (SPs) have brought us great opportunities to work in nanoscale at optical frequencies. The SPs at the two surfaces of a thin metal film interact with each other, hence generate new modes which are either symmetric or anti-symmetric. For anti-symmetric modes, the dispersion curve turns to be of negative slope at large wave vectors, so two different anti-symmetric modes can be excited at the same frequency. These two modes can form beats with novel features. The envelope (profile) of the beating SP waves could be stationary, which means its shape will not change in time. Our simulation results clearly showed such phenomena, which is a strong evidence of the SPs dispersion relations at the thin metal film. It is a proof of the existence of negative group velocity of SPs. Beats can help us determine the difference in k and the amplitudes ratio of the two beating waves. We also studied beating between anti-symmetric mode and symmetric mode SPs with the same frequency. The study of the energy density distribution showed that the output from such system can be well controlled through beats formation. Example by using NSOM (Near-field Scanning Optical Microscopy) has been simulated. The beating phenomena have a potential application in the integrated optical circuits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPlasmonics
Subtitle of host publicationMetallic Nanostructures and their Optical Properties IV
StatePublished - 2006
EventPlasmonics: Metallic Nanostructures and their Optical Properties IV - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 13 2006Aug 16 2006

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherPlasmonics: Metallic Nanostructures and their Optical Properties IV
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Antisymmetric mode
  • Beats
  • Plasmonics
  • Surface plasmon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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