The radiative decay of surface plasmon polaritons has been investigated in an attempt to characterize the surface roughness of Ag films prepared under different conditions. The polaritons were excited by the method of attenuated total reflection of light. The films were deposited on the face of a 60-degrees BK-7 glass prism at a rate that was deliberately fixed in two different ranges (centred on 0.1 and 10 nm s-1) and in some cases a CaF2 underlayer was used to roughen the film surfaces. The intensity of the scattered light emitted from the opposite face of the films was measured as a function of direction for each using the same sensitivity scale and was correlated with the preparation of the film. It was found that on nominally smooth substrates fast-deposited thinner films give out more light and are deduced to have greater short wavelength (300-600 nm) roughness amplitude. There is also evidence for long wavelenth (7 mum) periodic roughness due to the prism substrate itself. On CaF2 roughened surfaces the light output from the films is further increased and the peak intensity is backward directed with respect to the exciting laser beam direction. Here roughness on a lateral scale of 350 nm is responsible. Also, elastic scattering of surface plasmon polaritons at grain boundaries reduces the light output from fast deposited, small grain, films on CaF2 roughened surfaces. Overall, a consistent picture of roughness induced radiative polariton decay emerges for all cases studied.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of Modern Optics|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 1993|
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