Near-field interference for the unidirectional excitation of electromagnetic guided modes

Francisco J. Rodríguez-Fortũno*, Giuseppe Marino, Pavel Ginzburg, Daniel O'Connor, Alejandro Martínez, Gregory A. Wurtz, Anatoly V. Zayats

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Wave interference is a fundamental manifestation of the superposition principle with numerous applications. Although in conventional optics, interference occurs between waves undergoing different phase advances during propagation, we show that the vectorial structure of the near field of an emitter is essential for controlling its radiation as it interferes with itself on interaction with a mediating object. We demonstrate that the near-field interference of a circularly polarized dipole results in the unidirectional excitation of guided electromagnetic modes in the near field, with no preferred far-field radiation direction. By mimicking the dipole with a single illuminated slit in a gold film, we measured unidirectional surface-plasmon excitation in a spatially symmetric structure. The surface wave direction is switchable with the polarization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)328-330
Number of pages3
Issue number6130
StatePublished - 19 Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes


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