This contribution summarizes the use of plasmon surface polaritons and guided optical waves for the characterization of interfaces and thin organic films. After a short introduction to the theoretical background of evanescent wave optics, examples are given that show how this interfacial “light” can be employed to monitor thin coatings at a solid/air or solid/liquid interface. Examples are given for a very sensitive thickness determination of samples ranging from self-assembled monolayers, to multilayer assemblies prepared by the Langmuir/Blodgett/Kuhn technique or by the alternate polyelectrolyte deposition. These are complemented by the demonstration of the potential of the technique to also monitor time-dependent processes in a kinetic mode. Here, we put an emphasis on the combination set-up of surface plasmon optics with electrochemical techniques, allowing for the on-line characterization of various surface functionalization strategies, e.g. for (bio-) sensor purposes.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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