Hot Electrons in Plasmonic Nanostructures – a Very Different View

Yonatan Sivan
May 23rd, 2019 YONATAN SIVAN Ben-Gurion University

We present a self-consistent theory of the steady-state electron distribution in metals under continuous-wave illumination which treats, for the first time, both thermal and non-thermal effects on the same footing. We show the number of non-thermal electrons (i.e., the deviation from thermal equilibrium) is a very weak effect, so that the power that ends up generating these non-thermal electrons is many orders of magnitude smaller than the amount of power that leads to regular heating.

Using this theory, we re-examine the exciting claims on the possibility to enhance chemical reactions with these non-thermal electrons. We identify a series of errors in the temperature measurements in some of the most famous papers on the topic which led their authors to under-estimate regular heating effects. As an alternative, we show that a very simple 19th century theory, based on just simple heating, can explain the published experimental data with excellent accuracy.

Seminar, May 23, 2019, 12:00. ICFO’s Seminar Room

Hosted by Prof. Romain Quidant