Thermionic emitting materials are relevant for several technological applications like electron guns, X-ray sources, or thermionic energy converters. As new materials and surface functionalisations that enable thermionic emission are developed, it is essential to be able to test them in a repeatable and reliable manner. Here, we present a CO 2 laser-heated system for thermionic tests that can be used to test the thermionic emission current of different materials regardless of the optical properties or form factor. Our system can reach sample temperatures of T ≈ 1000 °C and can follow pre-programmed heating profiles. Additionally, a double thermo-electrical decoupling provides a very low electrical noise environment while keeping the sample heat loss to a minimum. Experimental data on sample temperature and thermionic current from a hydrogen terminated single crystal diamond are presented and discussed.