Generation of surface plasmon-polaritons by edge effects

Matthias S Maier, Dionisios Margetis, Mitchell Luskin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


By using numerical and analytical methods, we describe the generation of fine-scale lateral electromagnetic waves, called surface plasmon-polaritons (SPPs), on atomically thick, metamaterial conducting sheets in two spatial dimensions (2D). Our computations capture the two-scale character of the total field and reveal how each edge of the sheet acts as a source of an SPP that may dominate the diffracted field. We use the finite element method to numerically implement a variational formulation for a weak discontinuity of the tangential magnetic field across a hypersurface. An adaptive, local mesh refinement strategy based on a posteriori error estimators is applied to resolve the pronounced two-scale character of wave propagation and radiation over the metamaterial sheet. We demonstrate by numerical examples how a singular geometry, e.g., sheets with sharp edges, and sharp spatial changes in the associated surface conductivity may significantly influence surface plasmons in nanophotonics.

65N30, 78M10, 78M30, 78A45

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Feb 2 2017


  • Finite element method
  • Surface plasmon-polariton
  • Time-harmonic Maxwell’s equations
  • Weak discontinuity on hypersurface

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