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Ahn, B.; Schötz, J.; Okell, W. A.; Süßmann, F.; Förg, B.; Kim, S. C.; Kling, M. F. and Kim, D. (2016): Optimization of a nanotip on a surface for the ultrafast probing of propagating surface plasmons. In: Optics Express, Vol. 24, No. 1: pp. 92-101

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We theoretically analyze a method for characterizing propagating surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) on a thin gold film. The SPPs are excited by few-cycle near-infrared pulses using Kretschmann coupling, and a nanotip is used as a local field sensor. This geometry removes the influence of the incident excitation laser from the near fields, and enhances the plasmon electric field strength. Using finite-difference-time-domain studies we show that the geometry can be used to measure SPP waveforms as a function of propagation distance. The effects of the nanotip shape and material on the field enhancement and plasmonic response are discussed. (C) 2016 Optical Society of America

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