Spectroscopic Insight of Low Energy Electron Emission From Diamond Surfaces

Gary Wan*, Mattia Cattelan, Alex Croot, Hugo Dominguez Andrade, Shannon Nicley, Belgium) Ken Haenen (Hasselt University, Neil A Fox

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Low work function materials are desirable in many applications such as electron emission and photocatalysis. We have studied low energy electron emission from low work function hydrogen terminated diamond surfaces via electron spectroscopy to gain insight into the mechanisms involved during electron excitation and emission. Electron emission was found to be dominated by electrons within the band gap energy region, allowed due to the negative electron affinity diamond surface, while sub-bandgap illumination was able to significantly increase emission current. Substantial upward surface band bending greater than 2 eV was observed for the diamond samples, which affect electron accumulation at the surfaces. Intra-bandgap states are shown to strongly influence electron emission behavior, which can have great implications for various energy conversion devices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-383
Number of pages8
Early online date22 Sep 2021
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge the Bristol NanoESCA Facility for experimental work ( EPSRC Strategic Equipment Grant EP/K035746/1 and EP/M000605/1 ). This work was also financially supported by the Methusalem NANO network and the Research Foundation Flanders - (FWO) via project G0D4920N . G. Wan acknowledges the Ph.D. studentship from Renewtec Technologies funded through BCFN.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s)


  • diamond
  • thermionic emission
  • spectroscopy
  • surface states
  • photoemission


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