The phenomenon of photon tunneling, which depends on evanescent waves for radiative transfer, has important applications in microscale energy conversion devices and near-field optical microscopy. In recent years, there has been a surge of interest in the so-called negative index materials (NIMs), which have simultaneously negative electric permittivity and negative magnetic permeability. The present work investigates photon tunneling in multilayer structures consisting of positive index materials (PIMs) and NIMs. Some features, such as the enhancement of radiative transfer by the excitation of surface polaritons for both polarizations, are observed in the predicted transmittance spectra. The influence of the number of layers on the transmittance is also examined. The results suggest that the enhanced tunneling transmittance by polaritons also depends on the NIM layer thickness and that subdividing the PIM/NIM layers to enhance polariton coupling can reduce the effect of material loss on the tunneling transmittance.

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