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Optics Express

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Photoemission, Plasmons (Physics), Polaritons


We report the direct microscopic observation of optical energy transfer from guided photonic modes in an indium tin oxide (ITO) thin film to surface plasmon polaritons (SPP) at the surfaces of a single crystalline gold platelet. The photonic and SPP modes appear as an interference pattern in the photoelectron emission yield across the surface of the specimen. We explore the momentum match between the photonic and SPP modes in terms of simple waveguide theory and the three-layer slab model for bound SPP modes of thin metal films. We show that because the gold is thin (30- 40 nm), two SPP modes exist and that momentum of the spatially confined asymmetric field mode coincides with the dominant mode of the ITO waveguide. The results demonstrate that photoemission electron microscopy (PEEM) can be an important tool for the observation of photonic to SPP interactions in the study of integrated photonic circuits.


Copyright 2013 Optical Society of America

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