Hot-electron science and microscopic processes in plasmonics and catalysis Faraday Discussion

18 - 20 February 2019, London, United Kingdom



On behalf of the scientific committee, we extend a warm invitation to you to join us in London in February 2019. This Faraday Discussion will be the 300th ever Faraday Discussion since the meetings began in 1907, and many Discussions have become landmark meetings in their field. We invite you to join us to discuss the topic of hot electron science, make your contribution to this famous series of meetings, and help us celebrate this very special milestone.
The meeting will be of interest to established scientists as well as post-graduate students and industrial researchers interested in applications of plasmonics. Given the very fast progress in this area over recent years with numerous, and sometime contradictory, publications as well as the different disciplines involved including plasmonics, chemistry, catalysis and optoelectronics, the unique format of the Faraday Discussions will allow for in depth discussions and establishing links between the different communities involved.
We very much hope you will join us in London and we look forward to welcoming you.
Stefan Maier and Anatoly Zayats
Co-chairs, Hot-electron science and microscopic processes in plasmonics and catalysis


This meeting will discuss the most recent breakthroughs in this multidisciplinary and emerging field from the different perspectives of physicists, chemists and ab-initio theoreticians. We aim to elaborate connections between the various subdisciplines in the field and define the most challenging problems for the future. The meeting will provide a point of reference for the future development of plasmonics, catalysis, and more generally hot-electron science.


Faraday Discussions have a special format where research papers written by the speakers are distributed to all participants before the meeting, and most of the meeting is devoted to discussing the papers. Everyone contributes to the discussion - including presenting their own relevant research. The research papers and a record of the discussion are published in the journal Faraday Discussions.


Over the last 10 years, the field of plasmonic research has emerged as an extremely promising technology with several main fields of application: information technologies, energy, high-density data storage, photovoltaics, chemistry, biology, medicine and security. One of the most prominent applications, bridging the physical, chemical and biomedical sciences, has been in the area of sensing, where the intense nanoscale light fields around metallic nanostructures have been utilized for surface-enhanced spectroscopies of molecules.
While up to a few years ago the main focus has been on the ability of plasmonic nanostructures to generate such localized regions of highly concentrated electromagnetic fields, more recently it has been realized that also the electron part of plasmonic excitations can be exploited in the physical and chemical sciences: when a plasmon decays, its energy gets transferred to an electron/hole pair, and for a short period, below one picosecond, these carriers stay “hot” — they are in a non-equilibrium energy distribution, that can be exploited if these carriers can be extracted from the plasmonic nanostructures before thermalization to the lattice occurs. Proof-of-concept applications have over the last three years shown fascinating applications in areas such as surface-enhanced catalysis (water splitting), photodetectors without bandgaps (Schottky junctions), and nanoscale control over chemical reactions. At the same time, theoretical understanding about the generation, transport and extraction of plasmonic hot carriers has also advanced. The recent progress and the addressing of the main challenging questions in this dynamic field, spanning the experimental and theoretical sciences in physics and chemistry are the topic of this exciting Faraday Discussion

The Faraday Discussion will be organised into the following themes:

Dynamics of hot electron generation in metallic nanostructures
This session will discuss different experimental approaches for the observation and study of hot electron generation, transport and extraction of hot carriers in plasmonic nanostructures, both colloidal and top-down fabricated. The key challenges are to develop ways to study the ultrafast time scales of these processes, occurring on the sub-picosecond scale and we anticipate strong discussion on how to efficiently excite and extract these carriers.
Theory of hot electrons
This session will address the highly challenging topic on how to model the generation, transport and extraction of hot electrons. Spanning ab-initio theories with transport models and electromagnetic modelling, it will provide a discussion forum led by both electronic structure theorists and theoreticians investigating the electromagnetic field aspects of plasmonics. Key challenges that will be discussed include how to bridge theoretical predictions with experimental observations. A special focus will lie on how theory can guide the more efficient extraction of hot electrons.
New materials for hot electron generation
This session will focus on materials and synthesis or fabrication protocols in order to optimize the generation and extraction of hot electrons from plasmonic nanostructures. Key challenges lie in developing systems that allow efficient hot electron generation throughout the visible and near-infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Applications in catalysis, photochemistry, and photodetection
This final session will cover the rich spectrum of applications of plasmonic hot electrons, from catalysis and control over chemical reactions on the nanoscale to the development of photodetectors with enhanced sensitivities, new approaches to imaging, and biomedical and energy applications. Key challenges lie in the efficient utilization of the extracted charge carriers for each particular applications. A specific focal point will be the efficiencies needed for the real-world applications of hot-electron science.

Image reproduced with kind permission of Stefan Maier,
Naomi Halas (Introductory Speaker), Rice University, United States

Winner of 2019 Spiers Memorial Award

Jeremy Baumberg (Closing Remarks), University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Prof. Jeremy J. Baumberg FRS, directs a UK Nano-Photonics Centre at the University of Cambridge and has extensive experience in developing optical materials structured on the nano-scale that can be assembled in large volume. He is also Director of the Cambridge Nano Doctoral Training Centre, a key UK site for training PhD students in interdisciplinary Nano research. Strong experience with Hitachi, IBM, his own spin-offs Mesophotonics and Base4, as well as strong industrial engagement give him a unique position to combine academic insight with industry application in a two-way flow.  With over 20000 citations, he is a leading innovator in Nano. This has led to awards of the IoP Faraday gold Medal (2017), Royal Society Rumford Medal (2014), IoP Young Medal (2013), Royal Society Mullard Prize (2005), the IoP Charles Vernon Boys Medal (2000) and the IoP Mott Lectureship (2005). He frequently talks on NanoScience to the media, and is a strategic advisor on NanoTechnology to the UK Research Councils. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, the Optical Society of America, and the Institute of Physics. His recent popular science book “The Secret Life of Science: How Science Really Works and Why it Matters” is just published by PUP, see

Alexandra Boltasseva, Purdue University, United States

Alexandra Boltasseva is a Professor at the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University. She received her PhD in electrical engineering at DTU in 2004. Boltasseva specializes in nanophotonics, nanofabrication, optical materials, plasmonics and metamaterials. She is 2018 Blavatnik National Award for Young Scientists in Physical Sciences and Engineering Finalist and received the 2013 IEEE Photonics Society Young Investigator Award, 2013 Materials Research Society (MRS) Outstanding Young Investigator Award, the MIT Technology Review Top Young Innovator (TR35) award that "honors 35 innovators under 35 each year whose work promises to change the world", the Purdue College of Engineering Early Career Research Award, the Young Researcher Award in Advanced Optical Technologies from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany, and the Young Elite-Researcher Award from the Danish Council for Independent Research. She is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA) and SPIE. Alexandra authored more than 150 journal articles (h-index 56, Google Scholar) with a total number of citations above 9500. She served on MRS Board of Directors and is Editor-in-Chief for OSA’s Optical Materials Express.

Phillip Christopher, University of California, Santa Barbara, United States

Phillip Christopher received his B.S. from University of California, Santa Barbara in 2006 and his M.S and Ph.D. from University of Michigan in 2011 all in Chemical Engineering. From 2011-2017 he was an Assistant Professor at University of California, Riverside. In 2017 he moved with his group to the University of California, Santa Barbara where he is an Associate Professor and the Mellichamp Chair in Sustainable Manufacturing. His research interests are in sustainability, heterogeneous catalysis, in-situ characterization of the dynamic behavior of catalysts, and photocatalysis by metal nanostructures.

Alexander O. Govorov, Ohio University, United States

Alexander O. Govorov is a Professor of Physics at University of Electronic Science and Technology of China and a Distinguished Professor of Theoretical Physics at Ohio University in Athens, United States. He received his PhD in 1991 from the Institute of Semiconductor Physics in Novosibirsk, Russia. In 2001, Dr. Govorov moved to the U.S. and joined Ohio University. His research focuses on the theory of optical and electronic properties of nanostructures and bio-assemblies. His theoretical predictions motivated experiments in many research labs worldwide. Dr. Govorov is the author of more than 250 papers. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a recipient of several international awards including the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the A. v. Humboldt Foundation (Germany), the Ikerbasque Fellow Award (Spain), the Walton Visitor Award (Ireland), the Chang Jiang (Yangtze River) Chair Professorship (China), the 2014 Jacques-Beaulieu Excellence Research Chair Award (INRS, Montreal, Canada), and the 2018 1000-Talant Award (Sichuan, China).

Suljo Linic, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, United States

Prof. Linic obtained his PhD degree, specializing in surface and colloidal chemistry and heterogeneous catalysis, at the University of Delaware in 2003. He was a Max Planck postdoctoral fellow with Prof. Dr. Matthias Scheffler at the Fritz Haber Institute of Max Planck Society in Berlin (Germany), working on first principles studies of surface chemistry. He started his independent faculty career in 2004 the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor where he is currently the Class of 1983 Faculty Scholar Professor of chemical engineering. Prof. Linic’s research has been recognized through multiple awards including the 2017 Emmett Award by The North American Catalysis Society, the 2014 ACS (American Chemical Society) Catalysis Lectureship for the Advancement of Catalytic Science, awarded annually by the ACS Catalysis journal and Catalysis Science and Technology Division of ACS, the 2011 Nanoscale Science and Engineering Forum Young Investigator Award, awarded by American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the 2009 ACS Unilever Award awarded by the Colloids and Surface Science Division of ACS, the 2009 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award awarded by the Dreyfus Foundation, the 2008 DuPont Young Professor Award, and a 2006 NSF Career Award. Prof. Linic has presented more than 170 invited and keynote lectures and published more than 70 peer reviewed articles in leading journals in the fields of catalysis and general science. He serves as the associate editor of ACS catalysis journal.

  • Javier Aizpurua Materials Physics Center (CSIC-UPV/EHU), San Sebastian, Spain
  • Stephen B. Cronin University of Southern California, United States
  • Jacob Khurgin John Hopkins University, United States

Abstract Submission

Oral Abstracts and Research Papers

A full research paper containing new unpublished results always accompanies oral presentations at Faraday Discussions. Submit an oral/paper abstract by 04 June 2018 if you wish to be considered for an oral presentation and associated published paper. The oral/paper abstract should outline current research in progress. Authors of the selected abstracts must then submit a full research paper with a significant amount of new, unpublished work by 01 October 2018.

The research papers are reviewed upon submission and are sent to all delegates 4 weeks before the meeting so they can be read in advance. At the meeting the presenting author is allowed five minutes to highlight the main points of their paper, and the rest of the time is for discussion. The discussion is recorded and will be published alongside the research paper in the Faraday Discussion Volume.  

Poster Abstracts 

Submit your poster abstract by 10 December 2018. Posters are displayed throughout the meeting and a poster session is held on the first evening. The Faraday Division Poster Prize will be awarded to the best poster presented by a student at the conference.

Additional Information

Authors will be notified of the outcome of the review process within about 6 weeks of the submission deadline. The abstracts should be no longer than one A4 page in portrait layout. Please ensure you provide the details of the presenting author and indicate whether you are submitting an abstract for oral or poster presentation.

Please read the registration information before registering.
You can register by clicking on the online registration link on this page.
Please note accommodation is not included in the registration fee.

Registration includes:
  • Attendance at the sessions 
  • Refreshments throughout the meeting
  • Lunch on all three days
  • Attendance at the poster drinks reception on Monday 18 February
  • Attendance at the conference dinner on Tuesday 19 February
  • A copy of the discussion pre-prints
  • A copy of the final theme issue of Faraday Discussion Volume containing papers presented at the Discussion (issued approximately 6 months after the meeting)
  • **For non-member registrants, membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry until the end of 2019
Registration fees are as follows:
Early bird
(by 31 December 2018)
(by 21 January 2019)
Member* £355 £410
Non-member*** £460 £515
Student member* £170 £225
Student non-member £195 £250
Registration fees are VAT exempt.

  * If you are an Royal Society of Chemistry member and wish to register for this meeting, please select the member option on the online registration page. You will need to enter your membership number.

  **Excluding students, who can order the volume at a reduced price at the conference. 

 ***For non-member registrants, affiliate membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry until the end of 2019, the affiliate membership application will be processed and commence once the registrant has attended the event. 

Student Delegates

In order to encourage undergraduate or postgraduate students to attend the Discussion, a reduced conference fee (to include a set of pre-prints but not the final Discussion Volume) is available. This fee applies to those undertaking a full time course for a recognised degree or a diploma at a university or equivalent institution.

 A copy of the publication may be purchased at less than half price, only for orders placed at the meeting where an application form will be made available.  

Conference Dinner

The conference dinner on Tuesday 19 February 2019 and is included in the regsitration fee.

Book now

Terms and Conditions for Events run by the Royal Society of Chemistry

We have two types of grants available to attend this meeting:
  • A limited number of non-competitive travel grants of up to £200 are available for PhD students and early career scientists. These are assigned on a first come, first served basis. Applicants must be Royal Society of Chemistry members of any level at the time of making their application.
  • Competitive grants of up to £800 are available to assist with international travel expenses for PhD students, postdocs within 10 years of completing their PhD and early career scientists (including technicians and industrialists) within 10 years of leaving full time education. In addition, applicants must be Royal Society of Chemistry members of any level at the time of making their application. 
To take advantage of the competitive grants and many other benefits, become a member. Follow the link on the right hand side to find out more and join today!
Applications for either grant should be submitted as early as possible, but at least 8 weeks in advance of the start of the meeting. Please see respective terms & conditions for full eligibility information.
Sponsorship & supporting organisations
A selection of sponsorship opportunities is available for companies who would like to promote their activities at the 2019 Faraday Discussion series.

There are opportunities available to become the Faraday Discussion series sponsor,  Research & Development partner or Poster prize series sponsor as well as some individual meeting options. A sponsorship menu document is available to download from this page with more details and prices.
Please note that exhibition spaces are limited, spaces will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

If you would like more information about sponsoring the 2018 Faraday Discussion series, please contact the Commercial Sales Department at the Royal Society of Chemistry on
  Sponsorship Menu
The Royal Society of Chemistry

The Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BA, United Kingdom

Accommodation is not included in the registration fee.

Ellis Salsby run an accommodation booking service, if you would like any assistance please use the link provided.

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