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Time-resolving tunneling dynamics


Time-resolving tunneling is a well-recognized controversial problem. The main difficulty comes from the absence of unambiguous definition of tunneling time. The question becomes even more intriguing in many-body systems. First, many body-interactions  during tunneling may delay the electron escape through the barrier. Second, these interactions can be used to record the tunneling dynamics. Many-body interactions during tunneling range from Josefson junction to metal-insulator tunneling, to electron tunneling from atoms and molecules in strong infrared laser fields. In latter case the  the tunneling barrier is created by the laser field. The corresponding ionization mechanism is called “optical tunneling” to distinguish it from the tunneling in static electric fields. We show how one can use a combination of multicolor (from infrared to extreme ultraviolet) light fields to time-resolve optical tunneling in one-electron and many-electron systems.

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