Surface Plasmon Amplification in Planar Metal Films
The propagation and amplification of surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) is studied at the interfaces between metals and active media. A permittivity renormalization technique is proposed and developed to obtain an explicit analytic expression for the critical gain required to achieve infinite SPP propagation length. A specific multiple quantum-well (MQW) system is identified as a prospective medium for demonstrating efficient SPP amplification at telecommunication frequencies. The proposed system may have a strong impact on a variety of photonic devices ranging from plasmonic nanocircuits, subwavelength transmission lines and plasmonic cavities to nanosized transducers.