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Radiative Decay of Non Radiative Surface radiative mode on the boundary silver/air.

The excita-
Plasmons Excited by Light tion will be highest for those frequencies which fulfill
the dispersion relation of these surface plasmons.
The dispersion relations at the boundary of (bulk)
Institut für Angewandte Physik der Universität Hamburg silver/air and silver/quartz are 7
(Z. Naturforsch. 23 a, 2135—2136 [1968] ; received 15 November 1968)
_E Eq
/c2 = and k2= £ + £q
There are two modes of surface plasma waves:
1) Non-radiative modes with phase velocities Cü/k with e, £q the real parts of the dielectric constants of
smaller than the velocity of light c. They cannot decay silver and quartz. These relations are little modified by
into photons in general. the fact that the silver has a finite thickness. At a thick-
2) Radiative modes with (o/k > c which couple di- ness of about 1000 Ä Ag the difference between the
rectly with photons 1 . exact formula and the formulas given above is not im-
The following paper is concerned with the excitation
of these modes by light and their decay into photons. Fig. 1 demonstrates the dispersion relations and
It has been shown that the radiative mode on thin shows that those surface oscillations on the silver-air-
silver- and potassium-films can be excited by light and boundary can be excited which lie between co/k = c
that the mode reradiates light almost into all directions and <o/k = c/yEq whereas those on the quartz-silver-
with an intensity maximum at the plasma frequency boundary cannot be excited by light. The light emitted
cOp 2. It had been further observed that the non-radia- by these non-radiative surface plasmons by means of
tive modes radiate under certain conditions if they are the roughness wave vector from the silver surface
excited by electrons (grazing incidence of electrons on should be observable.
. a rough surface 3 or at normal incidence on a grat- In the experiments one side of the quartz prism
ing 4 ). (60°) is covered with a 800 Ä Ag-film. A light beam
The mechanism of this emission is in these cases of a Xenon lamp polarised parallel to the plane of
always the same: The "wave vector" of the roughness incidence penetrates the prism and is totally reflected
of the surface or its irregularity changes the plasmon at the quartz-silver-boundary. Outside the prism on the
wave vector k so that other side of the silver film in air a monochromator
a) in the case of the radiative mode light emission is together with a multiplier can be turned around the
found in directions in addition to that of reflexion and normal of the irradiated foil to detect the radiation,
transmission, so that its angular distribution and the dependence on
the wave length of the incoming light could be meas-
b) in the case of the non-radiative mode its wave
vector is reduced so that the condition /c<Cco/c is ful-
filled and the mode is able to radiate. If 0 O > 4 3 0 , and light polarised parallel to the
The theoretical considerations 5 are in good agree- plane of incidence is used, the 2-dependence shows two
ment with the observations. maxima (Fig. 2). The first at 3200 Ä is independent
of 0 O and is also observed with light polarised perpen-
The experiments described here shall demonstrate
dicular to the plane of incidence. This comes from
that the non-radiative mode excited by light can also light scattered at the boundary silver/quartz. Silver has
radiate. The non-radiative mode is produced by the in- a maximum transparency at 3200 A.
homogeneous light wave obtained by total reflexion in-
side a quartz prism as proposed in 6 . If the angle of The second higher maximum is only observed with
incidence inside the prism is 6>0, the wave vector of parallel polarised light; it is dependent on 0 and lies
the inhomogeneous wave is (co/c) • Vsq' sin 0 O (fq = at frequencies correlated with the wave vector
2.16 for quartz) and thus can excite a non radiative k0 = Ysq • sin 0O • (co/c)
mode on the boundary of the prism for j/fq sin 0 O > 1
or 90° > @o > 43°. If one vaporises a silver film by the dispersion relation of the non radiative modes.
directly on the quartz surface the inhomogeneous light It is remarkable that the intensity of the emitted light
wave penetrates into the silver film and excites a non- is higher at low frequencies which are near to the light

1 e. g . : K . L. KLIEWER and R . FUCHS, Phys. Rev. 1 5 3 , 4 9 8 5 E. A . STERN, Phys. Rev. Letters 19, 1321 [ 1 9 6 7 ] , - E.
[1967], KRETSCHMANN and H. RAETHER, Z . Naturforsch. 2 2 a, 1 6 2 3
2 J. BRAMBRING and H. RAETHER, Phys. Rev. Letters 1 5 , 8 8 2 [ 1 9 6 7 ] . - R. E . WILLEAMS and R. H. RITCHIE, Phys. Rev.
[ 1 9 6 5 ] . — J. BÖSENBERG and H. RAETHER, Phys. Rev. Letters Letters 1 9 , 1 3 2 5 [ 1 9 6 7 ] .
1 8 , 397 [ 1 9 6 7 ] , 6 A . OTTO, Z . Physik 2 1 6 , 398 [ 1 9 6 8 ] . His measurements are
3 H. BOERSCH and G. SAUERBREY, Optical Properties and Elec- analogous to the plasma resonance absorption whereas ours
tronic Structure of Metals and Alloys, Ed. F. ABELES, North- correspond to the plasma resonance emission of the ra-
Holland Publ. Comp., Amsterdam 1966, p. 3 8 6 . diative modes.
4 YE-YUNG TENG and E. A . STERN, Phys. Rev. Letters 1 9 , 511 7 taken from T. KLOOS, Z . Physik 2 0 8 , 77 [ 1 9 6 8 ] .

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3000 4TOÖ 50ÖÖ 6000

Fig. 1. Dispersion relations of the non-radiative surface oscillations at Fig. 2. Relative intensity 1 of the
the boundaries silver/air (1) and silver/quartz (2) calculated from the emitted light excited by parallel
optical constants 8 . The light which is incident in quartz at the angle 0 O polarised incident light as a func-
is indicated by the light line (3). The maximum excitation of the surface tion of the wave length in the opti-
mode takes place where line (3) cuts the curve (1). Line (4) represents mum of 0 . The dotted line corre-
the light measured at the angle 0 . sponds to the perpendicular polari-
sation. The parameter of the curves
is ]/£q • sin 0 O .

With 0 O ~ 43° a sharp maximum at 0 ~ 90° is ob-

served. This indicates again that a small change of the
wave vector Ak = (co/c) ("j/^q sin 0 O — sin 0 ) yields
high radiation intensity. At larger 0 O a second less
sharp maximum is observed for 0 ~ 50°.
This behaviour can be understood by using the equa-
tion for the emission intensity I of the radiative modes
(PREL) 5
1 + r (k)
> exp{ — (i o-Ak)2}

(r = Fresnel coefficient for the reflection at the bound-

0 ary air-silver, o = roughness parameter, k = (a>/c) sin 0 ) .
Fig. 3. The relative intensity / of the emitted light at the wave
It shows a maximum for Ak = 0 ( 0 = 90°) and an-
length 4 5 0 0 Ä and various ] / £ q ' s i n 0 O as a function of 0 .
other one for such values of 0 which make k2\l+r(k) j2
a maximum ( 0 ~ 5 0 ° ) .
line corresponding to a small change of the wave vec- More exact investigations of the radiation, taking
tor *. into consideration the theory of PREL, can give infor-
If the angular distribution of this plasma radiation mation on the roughness of metal foils. These investi-
is measured with 0 O as parameter one obtains Fig. 3. gations are still worked on.

* It is also possible to reverse the light path: If the silver foil 8 H. EHRENREICH and H. R. PHILIPP, Phys. Rev. 1 2 8 , 1622
is irradiated by a source, situated in air (in Fig. 1 below the [1962].
prism), light is scattered into the quartz prism with the A
dependence of Fig. 2.

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