The electric field immediately below an illuminated metal-film that is perforated with a hole array on a dielectric consists of direct transmission and scattering of the incident light through the holes and evanescent near-field from plasmonic excitations. Depending on the size and shape of the hole apertures, it exhibits an oscillatory decay in the propagation direction. This unusual field penetration is explained by the interference between these contributions, and is experimentally confirmed through an aperture which is engineered with four arms stretched out from a simple circle to manipulate a specific plasmonic excitation available in the metal film. A numerical simulation quantitatively supports the experiment. This fundamental characteristic will impact plasmonics with the near-fields designed by aperture engineering for practical applications.
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