Radiation tunneling within a multilayer structure with one layer made of a left-handed medium (LHM) is studied. Model functions for the electric permittivity and magnetic permeability of a metamaterial are used to generate a LHM in the mid-infrared spectral region. The dispersion relations of surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) for both s- and p-polarized electromagnetic waves are investigated. A generalized matrix formulation is developed and used to calculate the transmittance and reflectance of the multilayer structure. The results show that with the excitation of SPPs at the surface of the LHM, the transmittance of the multilayer structure can be enhanced up to several times. Furthermore, the characteristics of the evanescent fields associated with SPPs are analyzed for different thicknesses of the LHM layer.

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