New Effects in Optical Tunnelling

Speaker:Dr. Olga Smirnova
Affiliation:Max Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics in Berlin
Location:Lidow Rosen Auditorium (323)
Abstract:Tunnelling is fundamentally quantum effect that plays important role in a very wide range of processes, such as beta-decay in nuclear physics, proton transfer in biology, charge transport through Josephson junctions , etc. ‘Optical tunnelling’ plays key role in the ionization of atoms and molecules by strong infrared laser fields. I will describe several new effects in this seemingly well-studied process. These effects include (i) exponential enhancement of tunnelling rates in molecules by electron-electron correlation, which leads to the production of electronically excited molecular ions, (ii) counter-intuitive enhancement of tunnelling in circularly polarized laser fields for electrons rotating counter to the field, (iii) production of spin-polarized electrons by optical tunnelling in circularly polarized laser fields, and (iv) the possibility of using spin to clock optical tunnelling and characterize time-delays associated with absorption of multiple photons.