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Phys Rev Lett. 2005 Apr 1;94(12):127401. Epub 2005 Mar 30.

Zener tunneling of light waves in an optical superlattice.

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  • 1Department of Physics, University of Trento and INFM, via Sommarive 14, I-38050 Povo (Trento), Italy.


We report on the observation of Zener tunneling of light waves in spectral and time-resolved transmission measurements, performed on an optical superlattice made of porous silicon. The structure was designed to have two photonic minibands, spaced by a narrow frequency gap. A gradient in the refractive index was introduced to create two optical Wannier-Stark ladders and, at a critical value of the optical gradient, tunneling between energy bands was observed in the form of an enhanced transmission peak and a characteristic time dependence of the transmission.

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