We present a direct method for optically exciting and imaging delocalized standing surface plasmons in thin metal films. We show theoretically that when imaging the field of the plasmons with a photon scanning tunneling microscope, the presence of the dielectric probe has a negligible effect on the surface modes of the metal film.We demonstrate that plasmon interference can be sustained in arbitrarily large regions of the metal film in comparison to the excitation wavelength. This knowledge can be important when seeking the relative distance between two scattering centers such as the presence of micron or submicron structures.
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