Prism coupler with variable coupling gap

Paul Dawson, G.F. Cairns, S.M. O'Prey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The construction and operation of a prism/variable-gap/sample system (or variable-gap Otto coupler) for the excitation of surface electromagnetic modes is reported. This system has been used for the observation and characterization of surface plasmon polaritons on thin film structures. The initial alignment of prism and sample is performed under gravity and the subsequent gap variation is performed by means of a single actuator operating a flexure stage on which the prism is mounted. The flexure stage ensures the maintenance of good parallelism between sample and prism as the gap dimension is varied. The coupler has also served as a prototype, in terms of design principle, for the construction of a more sophisticated, variable-gap Otto coupler that can operate in vacuum at temperatures from ambient to 85 K. (C) 2000 American Institute of Physics. [S0034-6748(00)02311-X].
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4208-4212
Number of pages5
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Instrumentation


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