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7 July 2005 Bloch oscillations and resonant Zener tunneling of light in optical superlattices (Invited Paper)
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We report on optical analogues of well-known electronic phenomena such as Bloch oscillations and electrical Zener breakdown. We describe and detail the experimental observation of Bloch oscillations and resonant Zener tunneling of light waves in static and time-resolved transmission measurements performed on optical superlattices. Optical superlattices are formed by one-dimensional photonic structures (coupled microcavities) of high optical quality and are specifically designed to represent a tilted photonic crystal band. In the tilted bands condition the miniband of degenerate cavity modes turns into an optical Wannier-Stark ladder (WSL). This allows an ultrashort light pulse to bounce between the tilted photonic band edges and hence to perform Bloch oscillations, the period of which is defined by the frequency separation of the WSL states. When the superlattice is designed such that two minibands are formed within the stop band, at a critical value of the tilt of photonic bands the two WSLs couple within the superlattice structure. This results in a formation of a resonant tunneling channel in the minigap region, where the light transmission boosts from 0.3% to over 43%. The latter case describes the resonant Zener tunneling of light waves.
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Mher Ghulinyan, R. Sapienza, C. Toninelli, C. J. Oton, P. Costantino, Z. Gaburro, Lorenzo Pavesi, and D. S. Wiersma "Bloch oscillations and resonant Zener tunneling of light in optical superlattices (Invited Paper)", Proc. SPIE 5840, Photonic Materials, Devices, and Applications, (7 July 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.608205;

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