With the aim of studying electromagnetic surface wave resonance, we rigorously solve the homogeneous and inhomogeneous problem associated with an optically excited thin metallic film. We then demonstrate unambiguously that the excited eigenmode engendering plasmonic resonance in the so-called Kretschmann–Raether configuration is an unguided mode (i.e., with an anti-evanescent structure). This result, challenging the classical interpretation of the outgoing wave condition applied to surface waves, permits a quantitative interpretation of the attenuated total reflection curves.
© 2013 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: October 10, 2012
Revised Manuscript: December 6, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: December 9, 2012
Published: January 14, 2013
Damien Brissinger, Laurent Salomon, and Frédérique De Fornel, "Unguided plasmon-mode resonance in optically excited thin film: exact modal description of Kretschmann–Raether experiment," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 30, 333-337 (2013)