Surface plasmon, surface wave, and enhanced evanescent wave microscopy

Michael Geoffrey Somekh, Suejit Pechprasarn

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter gives an overview of the formation of evanescent fields excited by an objective lens. We discuss some of the different phenomena that emerge at the interface between a high index couplant and relatively low index sample. We show how surface plasmons are excited in the presence of a thin gold film. We discuss the application of surface waves microscopy with excitation of microscopic objectives and conclude that significant applications reside in the area of localized measurement of refractive index. A key challenge in surface microscopy is to maintain the high spatial resolution in the presence of waves that propagate relatively long distances along the sample surface, methods to achieve this high resolution are discussed in some detail. For cellular imaging while surface plasmons can give good images, evanescent waves generated by excitation from light incident above the critical angle can produce very high quality images of the sample surface, without needing to address the problems introduced by lateral propagation of the waves. Finally, we discuss potential new directions for imaging and localized sensing using these waves.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Photonics for Biomedical Engineering
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages41
ISBN (Electronic)9789400750524
ISBN (Print)9789400750517
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Confocal microscope
  • Evanescent wave
  • Sensors
  • Surface plasmon
  • Total internal reflection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Surface plasmon, surface wave, and enhanced evanescent wave microscopy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this