Surface electromagnetic waves: A review

John A. Polo, A. Lakhtakia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

159 Scopus citations


From the beginning of the 20th century, researchers have been interested in surface electromagnetic waves guided by planar interfaces of dissimilar mediums. Much initial research on surface-plasmon waves and surface-plasmon-polariton waves stemmed from theoretical curiosity, but the development of new experimental techniques propelled commercial exploitation for optical sensors of chemical and biological species. Additional surface waves called Dyakonov waves, Tamm waves, and Dyakonov-Tamm waves have emerged during the last 25 years. Experimental observation of Dyakonov waves was reported only in 2009, but the rapid development of experimental apparatus during the 1990s suggests that theoretical predictions will soon be evaluated experimentally, leading to further development of optical detection systems and optical circuitry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-246
Number of pages13
JournalLaser and Photonics Reviews
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Surface electromagnetic waves: A review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this