Structures containing metamaterials are considered. We mainly investigate the influence of spacer layer's thickness and metamaterials's damping term to the dips appearing in the attenuated total reflection (ATR) spectrum. It is found that the layer thickness and material's damping term have great impact on the surface resonance modes and the dips which appear in ATR spectrum. The results show that in order to observe the dips by using ATR, for the metamaterials, we should select proper values of damping term and spacer's thickness.© (2010) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.