The complete spectrum of eigenwaves including surface plasmon polaritons (SPP), dynamic (bulk) and complex waves in the layered structures containing semiconductor and metallic films has been explored. The effects of loss, geometry and the parameters of dielectric layers on the eigenmode spectrum and, particularly, on the SPP modes have been analysed using both the asymptotic and rigorous numerical solutions of the full-wave dispersion equation. The field and Poynting vector distributions have been examined to identify the modes and elucidate their properties. It has been shown that losses and dispersion of permittivity qualitatively alter the spectral content and the eigenwave properties. The SPP counter-directional power fluxes in the film and surrounding dielectrics have been attributed to vortices of power flow, which are responsible for the distinctive features of SPP modes. It has been demonstrated for the first time that the maximal attainable slow-wave factor of the SPP modes guided by thin Au films at optical frequencies is capped not by losses but the frequency dispersion of the actual Au permittivity. © 2009 EDP Sciences.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics