With the use of optical near-field techniques, it is now possible to excite or observe surface plasmons with high lateral resolution. A theoretical study is presented of surface plasmon excitation by near-field optical probes and the influence of well-defined structures on surface plasmon propagation and surface plasmon detection in the far field. The generation and the diffraction of the surface plasmon is calculated by using a theoretical scheme founded upon a first-order perturbation expansion of the Rayleigh–Fano method. A very good agreement is obtained between numerical and experimental results. The theoretical tools used should prove a useful guideline for future experiments of nanooptics with surface plasmons.
© 2001 Optical Society of America
Fadi Issam Baida, Daniel Van Labeke, Alexandre Bouhelier, Thomas Huser, and Dieter Wolfgang Pohl, "Propagation and diffraction of locally excited surface plasmons," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 18, 1552-1561 (2001)