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Single-photon propagation through dielectric bandgaps

TitleSingle-photon propagation through dielectric bandgaps
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsN. Borjemscaia, S. V. Polyakov, P. D. Lett, and A. L. Migdall
JournalOptics Express
Date Publishedjan
Keywords2010, Physical optics, Tunneling

Theoretical models of photon traversal through quarter-wave dielectric stack barriers that arise due to Bragg reflection predict the saturation of the propagation time with the barrier length, known as the Hartman effect. This saturation is sensitive to the addition of single dielectric layers, varying significantly from sub-luminal to apparently super-luminal and vice versa. Our research tests the suitability of photonic bandgaps as an optical model for the tunneling process. Of particular importance is our observation of subtle structural changes in dielectric stacks drastically affecting photon traversal times, allowing for apparent sub- and super-luminal effects. We also introduce a simple model to link HOM visibility to wavepacket distortion that allows us to exclude this as a possible cause of the loss of contrast in the barrier penetration process.