Surface Plasmons Carry the Pancharatnam-Berry Geometric Phase

Salman Daniel, Kimmo Saastamoinen, Toni Saastamoinen, Ismo Vartiainen, Ari T. Friberg, Taco D. Visser

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) are electromagnetic surface waves that travel along the boundary of a metal and a dielectric medium. They can be generated when freely propagating light is scattered by structural metallic features such as gratings or slits. In plasmonics, SPPs are manipulated, amplified, or routed before being converted back into light by a second scattering event. In this process, the light acquires a dynamic phase and perhaps an additional geometric phase associated with polarization changes. We examine the possibility that SPPs mediate the Pancharatnam-Berry phase, which follows from a closed path of successive in-phase polarization-state transformations on the Poincaré sphere and demonstrate that this is indeed the case. The geometric phase is shown to survive the light→SPP→light process and, moreover, its magnitude agrees with Pancharatnam's rule. Our findings are fundamental in nature and highly relevant for photonics applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number253901
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2017


This material is based on work supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (Award No. FA9550-16-1-0119), the Academy of Finland (Project No. 310511), and the Joensuu University Foundation. K. S. thanks the Magnus Ehrnrooth Foundation for financial support.

FundersFunder number
Air Force Office of Scientific ResearchFA9550-16-1-0119
Joensuun Yliopiston Tukisäätiö
Academy of Finland310511
Magnus Ehrnroothin Säätiö


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