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Phys Rev Lett. 2006 Jan 20;96(2):023901. Epub 2006 Jan 18.

Visual observation of Zener tunneling.

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Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Max-Wien-Platz 1, 07743 Jena, Germany.


We experimentally investigate photonic Zener tunneling between the bands of a waveguide array by directly monitoring the propagating light inside this structure. For strong transverse index gradients we observe Zener breakdown as regular outbursts of radiation escaping from the Bloch oscillations. Tunneling to higher order photonic bands and Bloch oscillations in different bands have been detected.

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