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The current induced by incident photons on an gold grating slab is investigated numerically and experimentally. A semi-classical electrodynamic model is developed under the weak nonlinearity approximation. Electrons in the conduction band are treated as an electron gas in the presence of a self-consistent electromagnetic field. The model is solved by the finite element method and compared with measurements. The calculated current density as a function of incident angle and wavelength is found to be in qualitative agreement with the experimental measurements. The results show that increasing surface plasmon spatial variation enhances photon induced current.

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This is an author-produced, peer-reviewed version of this article. The final, definitive version of this document can be found online at Applied Physics Letters, published by American Institute of Physics. Copyright restrictions may apply. DOI: 10.1063/1.3590200