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Future Trends in Microelectronics by Alexander Zaslavsky, Jimmy Xu, Serge Luryi

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2.1

Surface Waves Everywhere

M. I. Dyakonov

Laboratoire Charles Coulomb, Université Montpellier, CNRS, Montpellier, France

1 Introduction

By “surface waves” one means a special kind of waves that propagate at the interface between two different media. There exists a large variety of such waves, which are interesting on their own, and sometimes have also practical importance and technological applications. This article presents a brief and nonexhaustive review of this vast subject, designed as an introduction to the field for nonspecialists. Similarities between surface waves of completely different origin are outlined. I am concerned with the physical picture and avoid math as strongly as possible (no differential equations and no boundary conditions), as well as many interesting details. Sometimes I omit numerical coefficients. My own contributions to this field are also presented.

It should be understood that the material in each section of this article is a subject of many books and hundreds, if not thousands, of journal publications, which the interested reader should address for more information.

2 Water waves

These are certainly the first kind of surface waves that mankind has encountered. However, our prehistoric ancestors did not yet realize that waves are characterized by the frequency ω and the wave vector k = 2π/λ, where λ is the wavelength. The relation between ω and k is called the dispersion law. We now establish the dispersion laws for water waves from considerations ...

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