Modeling quantum yield, emittance, and surface roughness effects from metallic photocathodes

D. A. Dimitrov, G. I. Bell, J. Smedley, I. Ben-Zvi, J. Feng, S. Karkare, H. A. Padmore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Detailed measurements of momentum distributions of emitted electrons have allowed the investigation of the thermal limit of the transverse emittance from metal photocathodes. Furthermore, recent developments in material design and growth have resulted in photocathodes that can deliver high quantum efficiency and are sufficiently robust to use in high electric field gradient photoinjectors and free electron lasers. The growth process usually produces photoemissive material layers with rough surface profiles that lead to transverse accelerating fields and possible work function variations, resulting in emittance growth. To better understand the effects of temperature, density of states, and surface roughness on the properties of emitted electrons, we have developed realistic three-dimensional models for photocathode materials with grated surface structures. They include general modeling of electron excitation due to photon absorption, charge transport, and emission from flat and rough metallic surfaces. The models also include image charge and field enhancement effects. We report results from simulations with flat and rough surfaces to investigate how electron scattering, controlled roughness, work function variation, and field enhancement affect emission properties. Comparison of simulation results with measurements of the quantum yield and transverse emittance from flat Sb emission surfaces shows the importance of including efficient modeling of photon absorption, temperature effects, and the material density of states to achieve agreement with the experimental data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number165303
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number16
StatePublished - Oct 28 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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