Rana Nicolas

Assistant Professor of Physics

Dr. Rana Nicolas joined LAU as a part-time faculty in 2010, then became a full-time assistant professor of physics at the Department of Natural Sciences in Fall 2021. She holds a PhD in Photonics and Nanotechnology from the University of Technology of Troyes (UTT) in France. Her PhD research work focused on the optimization and fabrication of novel plasmonic nanomaterials for optical sensing applications. Following her graduation, Dr. Nicolas joined the Ultrafast Photonics Lab at the Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) in Paris, France, where she helped develop a new research theme on Plasmonic-Assisted High Harmonic Generation (HHG) in semiconductors.

Research Interests

Dr. Nicolas’ current research interests are in non-linear optics, specifically the plasmonic boost of semiconductor nonlinearities. She is also working on the numerical optimization of epsilon near zero (ENZ) materials: a new class of materials with promising applications in quantum computing. Her newest research project is in thermoplasmonics – investigating plasmonic nanoparticles as a non-invasive alternative photo-thermal cancer treatment approach.

Selected Publications

  • Atwi, H., Nicolas, R., Herro, Z., & Vincent, R. “Fluorescence inhibition near spherical ENZ nanoparticles: competition between radiative and non-radiative processes.” Opt. Lett. 2022.
  • Wang, S., Arnaud, L., Essaidi, S., Blaize, S., Kostcheev, S., Bruyant, A., Hmima, A., Hadjar, Y., Macias, D., Adam, P.M. Foli, E.D., Nicolas, R., Vincent, R. “Plasmonic origami: tuning optical properties by periodic folding of a gold nano film,” JOSA B 2022, 39 (5), pp.1400-1409.
  • Nicolas, R., Shi, L., Chanteau, B., Franz, D., Kholodstova, M., Ripault, Q., Andrade, J. R. C., Iwan, B., Boutu, W., Kovacev, M., Merdji, H. “Plasmon-Amplified Third Harmonic Generation in Metal/Dielectric Resonators,” Plasmonics 2021.
  • Hussain, M., Kaassamani, S., Auguste, T., Boutu, W., Gauthier, D., Kholodtsova, M., Gomes, J.-T., Lavoute, L., Gaponov, D., Ducros, N., Fevrier, S., Nicolas, R., Imran, T., Zeitoun, P., Williams, G. O., Fajardo, M., Merdji, H. “Spectral control of high order harmonics through non-linear propagation effects,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 2021, 119 (7), 071101.
  • Nefedova, V. E., Fröhlich, S., Navarrete, F., Tancogne-Dejean, N., Franz, D., Hamdou, A., Kaassamani, S., Gauthier, D., Nicolas, R., Jargot, G., Hanna, M., Georges, P., Ciappina, M. F., Thumm, U., Boutu, W., Merdji, H. “Enhanced extreme ultraviolet high-harmonic generation from chromium-doped magnesium oxide,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 2021, 118 (20), 201103.
  • Franz, D., Kaassamani, S., Gauthier, D., Nicolas, R., Kholodtsova, M., Douillard, L., Gomes, J.-T., Lavoute, L., Gaponov, D., Ducros, N., Février, S., Biegert, J., Shi, L., Kovacev, M., Boutu, W., Merdji, H. “All semiconductor enhanced high-harmonic generation from a single nanostructured cone,” Sci Rep 2019, 9 (1), 5663.
  • Shaaran, T., Nicolas, R., Iwan, B., Kovacev, M., Merdji, H. “Nano-plasmonic near field phase matching of attosecond pulses,” Sci Rep 2017, 7 (1), 6356.
  • Nicolas, R., Shi, L., Andrade, J. R. C., Boutu, W., Franz, D., Heidenblut, T., Reinhardt, C., Morgner, U., Merdji, H., Kovacev, M. “Impact of Plasmon-Induced Atoms Migration in Harmonic Generation,” ACS Photonics 2018, 5 (4).
  • Nicolas, R., Lévêque, G., Adam, P.-M., Maurer, T. “Graphene Doping Induced Tunability of Nanoparticles Plasmonic Resonances,” Plasmonics 2018, 13 (4), 1219-1225.
  • Nicolas, R., Lévêque, G., Marae-Djouda, J., Montay, G., Madi, Y., Plain, J., Herro, Z., Kazan, M., Adam, P.-M., Maurer, T. “Plasmonic mode interferences and Fano resonances in Metal-Insulator- Metal nanostructured interface,” Sci Rep 2015, 5 (1), 14419.

For the full list of publications: 


Academic Degrees

  • PhD in Physics, University of Technology of Troyes UTT, France (2015).
  • MS in Physics, American University of Beirut, Lebanon (2012).
  • BS in Physics, Lebanese University, Lebanon (2009).


Dr. Nicolas has published in peer-reviewed internationally renowned journals (ACS Photonics, Applied Physics Letters, Optics Letters, Scientific Reports…) and presented her research at international conferences. She is an active member of the American Physical Society (APS) and the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE). Additionally, Dr. Nicolas is a regular visiting researcher at the Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), France.