We analyze an inherent nonlinearity of surface plasmon polaritons at the interface of Fermi–Dirac metal plasma, stemming from the depletion of electron density in high-intensity regions. The derived optical nonlinear coefficients are comparable with the experimental values for metals. We calculate the dispersion relations for the nonlinear propagation of high-intensity surface plasmon polaritons, predicting a nonlinearity-induced cutoff and vanishing group velocity.
© 2010 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: November 25, 2009
Revised Manuscript: January 27, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: April 1, 2010
Published: May 5, 2010
Pavel Ginzburg, Alex Hayat, Nikolai Berkovitch, and Meir Orenstein, "Nonlocal ponderomotive nonlinearity in plasmonics," Opt. Lett. 35, 1551-1553 (2010)