P r o f .   Y o n a t a n    S i v a n

School of Electrical & Computer Engineering

Ben-Gurion University


Building 64, room 110





Last updated: 13/3/2023


Students wanted – high scholarship guaranteed

S u m m a r y    o f    r e s e a r c h    

Short  CV


Symposium on modal expansions for nanophotonic systems; September 17th, 2020; full lecture recordings available.

P u b l i c a t i o n s

R e c e n t

E a r l i e r


Electron non-equilibrium in metals

For a lecture explaining our recent work on the topic, including the re-interpretation of plasmon-assisted photocatalysis experiments, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvhewjB5U5c

Matters arising in “Plasmon-driven carbon-fluorine (C(SP^3)-F) bond activation with mechanistic insights into hot-carrier-mediated pathways”  

Nature Catalysis 3: 564–573, 2022.


The photothermal nonlinearity in plasmon-assisted photocatalysis  

Nanoscale 14: 5022, 2022.


Distinguishing thermal from non-thermal ("hot") carries in illuminated molecular junctions

Nano Letters 22: 2127-2133 , 2022.

For a lecture on this work, see Movies\PHOTOPTICS_AT_2022_38.mp4 (starting from the middle, unfortunately).


Lessons learned from recent experiments? A critical analysis of "Hot carrier multiplication in plasmonic photocatalysis"


The role of heat generation and fluid flow in plasmon-enhanced reduction-oxidation reactions

ACS Photonics 8: 1183-1190, 2021.


Recent developments in plasmon-assisted photocatalysis – A personal Perspective

Appl. Phys. Letters 117: 130501, 2020.


Parametric study of temperature distribution in plasmon-assisted photocatalysis

Nanoscale 12: 17821-17832, 2020.

Supplementary Information


Thermal effects - an alternative mechanism for plasmonic-assisted photo-catalysis

Chemical Science 11: 5017-5027, 2020.

Supplementary Information


Experimental practices required to isolate thermal effects in plasmonic photo-catalysis – lessons from recent experiments

OSA Continuum 3: 483-497, 2020.


Comment on “Quantifying hot carrier and thermal contributions in plasmonic photocatalysis”

Science 364: (6439) eaaw9367, 2019.




Assistance of metal nanoparticles in photocatalysis – nothing more than a classical heat source

Faraday Discussions 214: 215, 2019.


“Hot” electrons in metallic nanostructures – thermal vs. non-thermal effects;

Light: Science & Applications 8: 89, 2019.

Supplementary Materials


·         J. Aizpurua et al., Dynamics of hot electron generation in metallic nanostructures: general discussion

Faraday Discussions 214: 123, 2019.


·         J. Aizpurua et al., Theory of hot electrons: general discussion,

Faraday Discussions 214: 245, 2019.



Theory of low density Drude materials

Phys. Rev. Applied, 19: 014005, 2022.


Metal luminescence and thermometry

Crossover from non-thermal to thermal photoluminescence from metals excited by ultrashort light pulses

Under review.


“Theory of “Hot” photoluminescence from Drude metals

ACS Nano 15: 8724-8732, 2021.

Supplementary Materials

See correction (the published errata was unfortunately wrong too).


Effective electron temperature measurement using time-resolved anti-Stokes


J. Phys. Chem. A 124: 6968–6976, 2020.



Electron non-equilibrium in semiconductors

Theory of Non-equilibrium Hot Carriers in Direct Band-gap Semiconductors Under Continuous Illumination

New Journal of Physics 24: 053008, 2022.


Thermal emission from nanostructures

Thermal emission of spinning photons from temperature gradients

Phys. Rev. Applied, 18: 014052, 2022.

See https://picoelectrodynamics.org/news/our-paper-got-published-physical-review-applied

Numerical methods for electromagnetism

For a lecture summarizing our recent progress in the development of efficient modal computational techniques for nanophotonic systems, see    Movies\GENOME_lecture_MTMs_NY_30_9_2020.mp4 or more recently Movies\Cargese_talk.mp4

Wide frequency band expansion of permittivity normal modes.

Journal of the Optical Society of America, 39: 2387, 2022.


Generalised normal mode expansion method for open and lossy periodic structures.

Journal of the Optical Society of America B 39: 1338, 2022.


Resolving the Gibbs phenomenon via a discontinuous basis in a mode solver for open optical systems.

Journal of Computational Physics 429: 110004, 2021.


An efficient solver for the generalized normal modes of non-uniform open optical resonators
Journal of Computational Physics 422: 109754, 2020.


Scattering by lossy anisotropic scatterers: A modal approach
Journal of Applied Physics 129: 113104, 2021.

See an introduction of the paper in https://aip.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/10.0003927


Overcoming the bottleneck for quantum computations of complex nanophotonic

structures: Purcell and FRET calculations using a rigorous mode hybridization method

Phys. Rev. B 101: 155401, 2020.


Generalized normal mode expansion of electromagnetic Green’s tensor for open systems
Phys. Rev. Applied 11: 044018, 2019.


Robust location of optical fiber modes via the argument principle method
Computer Physics Communications 214: 105-116, 2017.


Codes are available here.


Frequency-domain modelling of TM wave propagation in optical nanostructures with a third-order nonlinear response
Optics Letters 34: 3364-6, 2009.


Ultrafast diffusion in metals

For a lecture summarizing our recent progress on the topic, see Movies\Photonics_West_ultrafast_diffusion_2021.wmv


·         A. Block, R. Yu, I. W. Un, S, Varghese, M. Liebel, N. F. van Hulst, S. Fan, K.-J. Tielrooij, Y. Sivan

Observation of negative effective thermal diffusion in gold films

Under review.


·         Y. Sivan, M. Spector

Ultrafast dynamics of optically-induced heat gratings in metals - more complicated than expected
ACS Photonics 7: 1271−1279, 2020.


·         A. Block, M. Liebel, R. Yu, M. Spector, Y. Sivan, F. J. García de Abajo, N. F. van Hulst

Tracking ultrafast hot-electron diffusion in space and time by ultrafast thermomodulation microscopy; Supplementary Materials
Science Advances 5: eaav8965, 2019.


See also a popular introduction to this paper in https://sciencetrends.com/hot-electrons-diffuse-100-times-faster-than-usual/


Frequency conversion in metal nanoparticles

Optimization of second-harmonic generation from touching plasmonic wires

Phys. Rev. B 103: 075411, 2021.


Sum frequency generation from touching wires: A transformation optics approach

Optics Letters 46: 2079, 2021.


Second-harmonic generation due to coulomb-like interaction in a heterodimer of subwavelength dimensions
Optics Express 28: 31468, 2020.


Surface second-harmonic from metallic nanoparticle configurations - a transformation optics approach

Physical Review B 99: 235429, 2019.


Revisiting the boundary conditions for second-harmonic generation at metal-dielectric interfaces

Journal of the Optical Society of America B 34: 1824, 2017.


Thermal nonlinearity of metals

The thermo-optic nonlinearity of single metal nanoparticles under intense continuous-wave illumination

Phys. Rev. Materials 4: 105201, 2020.


Size-dependence of the photothermal response of a single metal nanosphere

Journal of Applied Physics 126: 173103, 2019.


See also Scilight article featuring our work in https://aip.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/10.0000221


Metal nanospheres under intense continuous-wave illumination: A unique case of non-perturbative nonlinear nanophotonics

Physical Review E 96: 059901, 2017.


Nonlinear plasmonics at high temperatures

Nanophotonics 6: 317-328, 2017.


Temperature- and –roughness dependent permittivity of annealed/unannealed gold films

Optics Express 24: 19254, 2016.



Ultrashort pulses dynamics

Stopping light using a transient Bragg grating

Phys. Rev. A 101: 033828, 2020.


Pulse propagation in the slow and stopped light regimes

Optics Express 26: 19294, 2018.


Ns-duration transient Bragg gratings in silica fibers

Optics Letters 42: 4748, 2017.


Nonlinear wave interactions between short pulses of different spatio-temporal extents
Scientific Reports 6: 29010, 2016.


Coupled-mode theory for electromagnetic pulse propagation in dispersive media undergoing a spatiotemporal perturbation: Exact derivation, numerical validation and peculiar wave mixing
Physical Review B: 93: 144303, 2016.


Femtosecond-scale modulations and switching based on periodic patterns of excited free-carriers
Optics Express 23: 16416-28, 2015.


Theory of wave-front reversal of short pulses in dynamically-tuned zero-gap periodic systems
Physical Review A 84: 033822-1-13, 2011.


Broadband time-reversal of optical pulses using a switchable photonic crystal mirror
Optics Express 19: 14502-7, 2011.


Time-reversal in dynamically-tuned zero-gap periodic systems
Physical Review Letters 106: 193909, 2011.


See also cover story at http://phys.org/news/2011-05-physicists-time-reversed-pulses.html


Nanoparticle-assisted microscopy

Nano-particle assisted STED nanoscopy with gold nanospheres

ACS Photonics 5, 2574-2583, 2017.


Plasmonic Nanoprobes for Stimulated Emission Depletion Nanoscopy

ACS Nano 10, 10454-10461, 2016.


Experimental proof of concept of nano-particle assisted STED

Nano Letters 14: 4449-4453, 2014.


For a video presentation of these results by my colleague - http://proceedings.spiedigitallibrary.org/proceeding.aspx?articleid=1939388


Performance improvement in Nano-particle assisted STED nanoscopy
Applied Physics Letters 101: 021111, 2012.


Nano-particle assisted STED nanoscopy
ACS Nano 6: 5291, 2012.


See also Perspective Article at

Plasmonics meets far-field optical nanoscopy
ACS Nano 6: 4580, 2012.


Plasmonic sinks for the selective removal of long-lived states

ACS Nano 5: 9958, 2011.



Metamaterial design

Reinterpreting the magnetoelectric coupling of infinite cylinders using symmetry

Physical Review B 94: 035142, 2016.



Airy beam formation

Spontaneously-formed auto-focusing caustics in a confined self-defocusing medium

Optica 2: 1053-1056 (2015).



Plasmon-resonance in metal nano-particles

Independence of plasmonic near-filed enhancement to illumination beam profile
Physical Review B 86: 155441, 2012.



Loss compensation in plasmonic nanostructures using gain media

Frequency-domain simulations of a negative-index material with embedded gain
Optics Express 17: 24060-74, 2009.



Solitons in inhomogeneous media

A quantitative approach to soliton instability
Optics Letters 36: 397-9, 2011.


Qualitative and quantitative analysis of stability and instability dynamics of positive lattice solitons
            Physical Review E 78: 046602, 2008.

Also available at the November 2008 edition of the APS virtual journal.


Drift instability and tunneling of lattice solitons
Physical Review E 77: 045601(R), 2008.


Analytic theory of narrow lattice solitons
Nonlinearity 21: 509-536, 2008.


Instability of bound states of a nonlinear Schrodinger equation with a Dirac potential
Physica D 237: 1103-1128, 2008.


Also available at the October 2006 edition of the APS virtual journal.


            Interaction-induced localization of anomalously diffracting nonlinear waves
            Physical Review Letters 97: 193901, 2006.



Atmospheric propagation

           Control of the filamentation distance and pattern in long-range atmospheric propagation
           Optics Express 15: 2779-2784, 2007.


           Control of the collapse distance in atmospheric propagation
            Optics Express 14: 4946-4957, 2006.






G r o u p

Current members

Dr. Ieng Wai Un

Dr. Subhajit Sarkar

Dr. Kaizad Rustomji

Dr. Ashish Prajapati

Dr. Imon Kalyan

Tamir Grossinger, PhD candidate

Sravya Rao, PhD candidate

Rebeca Miyar, MSc candidate


Past members

Dr. Parry Chen; now at GreenerWave

Dr. Guillaume Le Saux; at BGU

Dr. Tal Weiss

Dr. K. Nireekshan Reddy; now at KLA Tencor, Israel

Dr. Ioseph Gurwich

Dr. Shlomo Pinhas

Dr. Igal Balin; now at KLA Tencor, Israel


Shimon Elkabetz, MSc

Roy Ayash, MSc

Shai Rozenberg; now at MAFAT, Israel

Yaki Ben-Yakar



T e a c h i n g

Introduction to photoelectronics

Introduction to wave propagation

Introduction to nano-plasmonics and metamaterials

Advanced topics in electromagnetism