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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Michael Duncan
  • Vol. 13, Iss. 16 — Aug. 8, 2005
  • pp: 6117–6126

Prism coupling to terahertz surface plasmon polaritons

John F. O’Hara, Richard D. Averitt, and Antoinette J. Taylor  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 13, Issue 16, pp. 6117-6126 (2005)

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Silicon prisms are used to couple free-space broadband terahertz into surface plasmon polariton (SPP) modes, otherwise known as surface electromagnetic waves (SEW) or Zenneck waves, on to polished metal surfaces. We show that coupling to surface waves occurs via edge-diffraction and hump-coupling and that attenuated total reflection is not an important coupling mechanism. Coupling and decoupling to a broadband, single-cycle SPP pulse is demonstrated with an energy efficiency of approximately 3.5%. Measurements of SPPs through thin plastic films reveal a strong surface sensitivity and suggest new configurations for maximizing THz SPP utility.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(240.6680) Optics at surfaces : Surface plasmons
(240.6690) Optics at surfaces : Surface waves
(250.0250) Optoelectronics : Optoelectronics
(300.6490) Spectroscopy : Spectroscopy, surface

ToC Category:
Research Papers

Original Manuscript: June 15, 2005
Revised Manuscript: July 27, 2005
Published: August 8, 2005

John O'Hara, Richard Averitt, and Antoinette Taylor, "Prism coupling to terahertz surface plasmon polaritons," Opt. Express 13, 6117-6126 (2005)

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