We show that guiding of optical signals in chains of metal nanoparticles is subject to a surprisingly complex dispersion relation. Retardation causes the dispersion relation for transverse modes to split in two anticrossing branches, as is common for polaritons. While huge radiation losses occur above the light line, just below the light line the micron-sized loss lengths are much longer than expected. The anticrossing allows one to create highly localized energy distributions in finite arrays that can be tuned via the illumination wavelength. Our results apply to all linear chains of coupled resonant scatterers.

Phys. Rev. B
Photonic Materials

Koenderink, A.F, & Polman, A. (2006). Complex response and polariton-like dispersion splitting in periodic metal nanoparticle chains. Phys. Rev. B, 74(Article number: 33402), 1–4. doi:10.1103/physrevb.74.033402