We analyze stability of the TM polarized optical solitons and nonlinear guided waves localized at a metal-dielectric interface. We demonstrate, both analytically and numerically, that the spatial solitons can experience vectorial transverse modulational instability that leads to the generation of arrays of two-dimensional TM polarized self-trapped localized beams. In a sharp contrast, we reveal that the transverse instability is completely eliminated for nonlinear surface plasmons.
© 2009 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: July 1, 2009
Revised Manuscript: August 4, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: August 23, 2009
Published: September 25, 2009
Yuan-Yao Lin, Ray-Kuang Lee, and Yuri S. Kivshar, "Transverse instability of transverse-magnetic solitons and nonlinear surface plasmons," Opt. Lett. 34, 2982-2984 (2009)