Electron emission properties of crystalline diamond and III-nitride surfaces

R. J. Nemanich, P. K. Baumann, M. C. Benjamin, O. H. Nam, A. T. Sowers, B. L. Ward, H. Ade, R. F. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Wide bandgap semiconductors have the possibility of exhibiting a negative electron affinity (NEA) meaning that electrons in the conduction band are not bound by the surface. The surface conditions are shown to be of critical importance in obtaining a negative electron affinity. UV-photoelectron spectroscopy can be used to distinguish and explore the effect. Surface terminations of molecular adsorbates and metals are shown to induce an NEA on diamond. Furthermore, a NEA has been established for epitaxial AlN and AlGaN on 6H-SiC. Field emission measurements from flat surfaces of p-type diamond and AlN are similar, but it is shown that the mechanisms may be quite different. The measurements support the recent suggestions that field emission from p-type diamond originates from the valence band while for AlN on SiC, the field emission results indicate emission from the AlN conduction band. We also report PEEM (photo-electron emission microscopy) and FEEM (field electron emission microscopy) images of an array of nitride emitters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)694-703
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Surface Science
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 1997 4th International Symposium on Atomically Controlled Surfaces and Intefaces, ACSI-4 - Tokyo, Jpn
Duration: Oct 27 1997Oct 30 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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