Theodor Tamir

  • Professor Emeritus (Deceased)

Research Interests
Wave propagation, guiding and diffraction in electromagnetics, optics and acoustics; theory and application to devices using multilayered and/or periodic structures. Research studies have addressed leaky waves for antennas and optical beam couplers; surface waves in dielectric films, in plasma layers and along the terrestrial ground; the scattering of optic and acoustic beams by layered media; the design of periodic structures for planar optical devices, and other applications.

The Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel 1953
Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering

The Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel 1958
Master of Science, Electrical Engineering

Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, NY 1962
Doctor of Philosophy, Electrophysics

Journal Articles


The following lists only the more prominent articles out of over 100 published papers


     F. Falco, T. Tamir and K. M. Leung, “Anomalous spatial modifications of beams diffracted by two-dimensional periodic media,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 24, 1666-1679; June 2007.

    K.-K. Choi, K.-M. Leung, T. Tamir and C. Monroy, "Light coupling characteristics of corrugated quantum-well infrared photodetectors," IEEE J. Quant. Electron. 40, 130-142; Feb. 2004.

    C.-H. Lin, K. M. Leung and T. Tamir, “Modal transmission-line theory of three-dimensional periodic structures with arbitrary lattice configurations,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 19, 2005-2017; Oct. 2002.

    L. Yan, M. Jiang, T. Tamir and K.-K. Choi, "Electromagnetic modeling of quantum-well photodetectors containing diffractive elements," IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 35, 1870-1877; December 1999.

    T. Tamir and S. Zhang, "Resonant scattering by multilayered dielectric gratings," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 14, 1607-1616; July 1997.

    T. Tamir and S. Zhang, "Modal transmission-line theory of multilayered grating structures," J. Lightwave Technol. 14,  pp. 914-927; May 1996.

    Kun-Yii Tu and Theodor Tamir, "Full-wave multiple-scattering analysis of diffraction by superposed gratings," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A, 11, pp. 181-196; January 1994.

    S. Zhang  and  T. Tamir, "Analysis and design of broad-band grating couplers," IEEE J. Quant. Electron. 29, 2813-2824; November 1993.

    Kun-Yii Tu, Hyuk Lee and Theodor Tamir, "Analysis of crosstalk in volume holographic interconnections," Appl. Optics 31, 1717-1729; April 1992.

    K.Y. Tu, T. Tamir and H. Lee, "Multiple-scattering theory of wave diffraction by superposed volume gratings," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A (Special Feature Issue on Grating Diffraction) 7, 1421-1435; August 1990.

    S. Zhang and T. Tamir, "Spatial modifications of Gaussian beams diffracted by reflection gratings," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 6, 1368-1381; September 1989.

    J.J. Burke, G.I. Stegeman and T. Tamir, "Surface polariton-like waves guided by thin lossy metal films," Phys. Rev. B 33, 5186-5201; April 1986.

    T. Tamir and F.Y. Kou, "Varieties of leaky waves and their excitation along multilayered structures," IEEE J. Quant. Electron. QE-22, 544-551; April 1986.

    T. Tamir, "Non-specular phenomena in beam fields reflected by multilayered media," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A (Feature Issue on Propagation and Scattering of Beam Fields) 3, 558-565; April 1986.

    V. Shah and T. Tamir, "Absorption and lateral shift of beams incident upon lossy multilayered media," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 73, 37-44; January 1983.

    K.C. Chang and T. Tamir, "Simplified approach to surface-wave scattering by blazed dielectric gratings," Appl. Optics 19, 282-288; January 1980.

    T. Tamir and S.T. Peng, "Analysis and design of grating couplers," Appl. Phys. 14, 235-254; November 1977 (INVITED PAPER).

    S.T. Peng, T. Tamir and H.L. Bertoni, "Theory of periodic dielectric waveguides," IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory & Tech. (Special Issue on Integrated Optics and Optical Waveguides) MTT-23, 123-133; January 1975.

    A. Ballato, H.L. Bertoni and T. Tamir, "Systematic design of stacked-crystal filters by microwave network methods," IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory & Tech. MTT-22, 14-25; January 1974.

    H.L. Bertoni and T. Tamir, "Unified theory of Rayleigh-angle phenomena for acoustic beams at liquid-solid interfaces," Appl. Phys. 2, 157-172; October 1973. (INVITED PAPER).

    B. Singer and T. Tamir-Berman, "Diffraction of light from a filamentary source by parallel acoustic wave fronts," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 60, 1640-1653; December 1970.

    R.S. Chu and T. Tamir, "Guided-wave theory of light diffraction by acoustic microwaves," IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory & Tech. MTT-18, 486-504; August 1970.

    T. Tamir and A.A. Oliner, "Role of the lateral wave in total reflection of light," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 59, 942-949; August 1969.

    T. Tamir, "On radio wave propagation in forest environments," IEEE Trans. Antennas and Propagation AP-15, 806-815; November 1967.

    D. Staiman and T. Tamir, "Nature and optimization of the ground (lateral) wave excited by submerged antennas," Proc. IEE 113, 1299-1310; August 1966.

    T. Tamir, H.C. Wang and A.A. Oliner, "Wave propagation in sinusoidally stratified dielectric media," IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory & Tech. MTT-12, 323-335; May 1964. (Correspondence and Corrections in MTT-13, 139-141; January 1965).

    T. Tamir and A.A. Oliner, "Guided complex waves," Proc. IEE 110, 310-334; February 1963.

    T. Tamir and A.A. Oliner, "The spectrum of electromagnetic waves guided by a plasma layer," Proc. IEEE 51, 317-332; February 1963.


Authored/Edited Books



T. Tamir (Editor and Co-author), Guided-Wave Optoelectronics, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Germany, 1988 (updated edition in 1990).  Russian translation by Mir Publishers, Moscow, USSR, 1991.          


T. Tamir (Editor and Co-author), Integrated Optics, Springer-Verlag, New York, NY, 1975 (updated editions in 1979 and 1982). Russian translation by Mir Publishers, Moscow, USSR, 1978; Chinese translation by Science Publishers, Beijin, PRC, 1982.

T. Tamir, "The Lateral Wave," Chapter 13 in Electromagnetic Surface Waves (A.D. Boardman, Editor), J. Wiley & Sons, New York, NY, pp. 521-548; 1982.

T. Tamir, "Leaky Wave Antennas," Chapter 20 in Antenna Theory, part 2 (R.E. Collin and F.J. Zuck­er, Editors), Mc-Graw Hill, New York, NY, pp. 259-297; 1969.



Life Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

Fellow Emeritus, Optical Society of America (OSA)

Member, Institute of Radio Science (URSI), U.S. Commission B

Member, Sigma Xi.


General/Collaborative Research



Research studies were funded by government agencies, which include NSF, ONR, AFCRL and AROD, as well as by RCA, Bell Laboratories, Schlumberger and other industrial laboratories. Most recent work has addressed the modeling of quantum-well infrared photodetectors, in collaboration with Dr. K. K. Choi, at the Electro-Optics and Photonics Division of the U.S. Army Research Laboratories, Adelphi, MD.




1965: Institution Premium for a seminal article on the theory of leaky waves; this Premium is the most prestigious award given by the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE), U.K.

1967: Electronics Section Premium, awarded by IEE for distinguished article describing the mechanism of the surface (Norton) radio wave along the terrestrial ground

1968: Special Recognition by the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society for a best paper, which has provided a basic model for radio-wave propagation in forest environments


Acoustic Surface Wave Device, Patent #3,840,824, (Design)

The patent describes a wedge transducer that effectively couples an incident acoustic beam onto a planar acoustic waveguide

Directional Radiation by Dielectric Gratings, Patent #3,982,810, (Design)

The patent describes a blazed dielectric grating that couples an optical guided wave into a beam that radiates selectively into either the substrate or the cover regions of the grating structure