Public defence in physics: Yevhen Ivanenko

Title: Optimization and Physical Bounds for Passive and Non-passive Systems
Subject: Physics
Faculty: Faculty of Technology
Date: Friday 13 December 2019 at 9.15 am
Place: Room Newton (C1202), building C, Växjö
External reviewer: Assistant professor Aaron Welters, Florida Intitute of
Technology, USA
Examining committee: Professor Martin Norgren, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
Associate professor Samel Arslanagic, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark
Dr Henrik Wallén, Aalto University, Finland
Chairperson: Professor Carlo Canali, Department of Physics and Electrical Engineering, Linnaeus University
Supervisor: Professor Sven Nordebo, Department of Physics and Electrical Engineering, Linnaeus University
Examiner: Professor Sven-Erik Sandström, Department of Physics and Electrical Engineering, Linnaeus University
Spikning: Friday 22 November 2019 at 9.15 am at the University library in Växjö


Physical bounds in electromagnetic field theory have been of interest for more than a decade. Considering electromagnetic structures from the system theory perspective, as systems satisfying linearity, time-invariance, causality and passivity, it is possible to characterize their transfer functions via Herglotz functions. Herglotz functions are useful in modeling of passive systems with applications in mathematical physics, engineering, and modeling of wave phenomena in materials and scattering. Physical bounds on passive systems can be derived in the form of sum rules, which are based on low- and high-frequency asymptotics of the corresponding Herglotz functions. These bounds provide an insight into factors limiting the performance of a given system, as well as the knowledge about possibilities to improve a desired system from a design point of view. However, the asymptotics of the Herglotz functions do not always exist for a given system, and thus a new method for determination of physical bounds is required.

In Papers I–II of this thesis, a rigorous mathematical framework for a convex optimization approach based on general weighted Lp-norms, 1 ≤ p ≤ ∞, is introduced. The developed framework is used to approximate a desired system response, and to determine an optimal performance in realization of a system satisfying the target requirement. The approximation is carried out using Herglotz functions, B-splines, and convex optimization.

Papers III–IV of this thesis concern modeling and determination of optimal performance bounds for causal, but not passive systems. To model them, a new class of functions, the quasi-Herglotz functions, is introduced. The new functions are defined as differences of two Herglotz functions and preserve the majority of the properties of Herglotz functions useful for the mathematical framework based on convex optimization. We consider modeling of gain media with desired properties as a causal system, which can be active over certain frequencies or frequency intervals. Here, sum rules can also be used under certain assumptions.

In Papers V–VII of this thesis, the optical theorem for scatterers immersed in lossy media is revisited. Two versions of the optical theorem are derived: one based on internal equivalent currents and the other based on external fields in terms of a T-matrix formalism, respectively. The theorems are exploited to derive fundamental bounds on absorption by using elementary optimization techniques. The theory has a potential impact in applications where the surrounding losses cannot be neglected, e.g., in medicine, plasmonic photothermal therapy, radio frequency absorption of gold nanoparticle suspensions, etc. In addition to this, a new method for detection of electrophoretic resonances in a material with Drude-type of dispersion, which is placed in a straight waveguide, is proposed.