Surface plasmon polaritons are collective oscillation waves of free electrons localized at the surfaces between metal and dielectric media. SPPs promise significant advantages in nanophotonic devices, which offer a promising approach to control and manipulate the propagation and dispersion of light on scales much smaller than the light wavelength. The peculiar optical properties of SPPs have demonstrated applicability in fields such as environmental science, solar energy, and biological medicine. The excitation of SPPs also provides the fundamental physics of near-field optical techniques, such as waveguides, particular sources, surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy data storage, and biosensors.
This chapter presents the fundamental physics and general aspects of SPPs, such as the dispersion relation, propagation behavior, and coupling methods to compensate for the momentum matching between incident light and SPPs.
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