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Electron Multiplication through Secondary Electron


By Bruce Darrow Gaither

In this era of energy shortages we have all daydreamed about owning a device which
would take the energy that we have and multiply it. Imagine how happy we would be if
you could simply plug in a device which would double your electricity. Numerous
researchers, writers and inventors have sought to do just that.

But scientists have cautioned that the law of conservation of energy dictates that energy is
never created nor destroyed, only converted from one form to another. None of these
schemes, they say, would ever work. They are just perpetual motion machines.

The purpose of this book is to discuss advances in electronics and materials science
which have made things possible which were not contemplated when the laws of
Thermodynamics were postulated decades ago.

Secondary electron emission is a well-known process. It is that effect which causes
additional electrons to be emitted when a substance is bombarded by a stream of
electrons. This secondary emission effect was discovered a century ago, and it has found
application in a variety of devices which are in use today.

Advances in electronics and the development of new materials have revealed new
methods and substances which make this secondary electron emission even more
effective. In fact, today the impossible is possible—one electron at a time.

If a beam of electrons is aimed at a target electrode coated with a given substance then
electrons are emitted from that target. The number of electrons emitted from the target
which has been bombarded is compared to the number of primary electrons in the
original electron beam. The electrons emitted after bombardment by primary electrons
are called secondary electrons.

The material’s propensity to emit electrons after bombardment is called the “secondary
electron emission coefficient”. That is expressed as the number of secondary electrons
divided by the number of primary electrons.

A secondary electron coefficient of less than 1 means that the substance does not emit as
many electrons as it is bombarded with. A coefficient of greater than 1.0 means that the
substance emits more secondary electrons than bombarded it

We are interested in this book in those materials which exhibit a high coefficient of
secondary electron emission. The goal is to perfect a device which will emit more
electrons than you started out with. Some devices have been invented to minimize or
eliminate secondary electron emission, but those are not within the scope of this book.

Years of testing and research have resulted in well-known coefficients of secondary
electron emission for scores of materials. Research first focused upon basic substances
such as copper, steel, silver, gold and other metals. Then more exotic combinations and
alloys were tested, such as oxides and alkalai metal combinations. Some metals and some
combination coatings worked much better than others.

In recent years miniaturization and nanotechnology as well as chemical vapor deposition
of thin films have come up with even more effective secondary electron multipliers.
In fact today’s plasma televisions and LED lights are examples of such substances and

A reference to various charts is now possible to determine at a glance exactly what the
secondary electron emission coefficient is for these materials.

But the devil is still in the details.

Two variables are of importance as to the materials. One variable is the angle at which
the primary electrons impact the target. In general it has been found that a better result is
obtained when the primary electrons graze the target material at an angle rather than
hitting straight-on. But the physics of the secondary emission process and the atomic and
molecular structure of the target materials mean that the optimum angle is different for
different materials. The second main variable is the voltage of the beam of primary
electrons. Some substances max out their secondary emission coefficient at very low
voltages and some materials reach their highest secondary emission only at much higher
voltages. This is believed to be due to the depth to which the primary electrons impinges
the material and the amount of tunneling into the substance.

Therefore care must be be paid to the research of the variables in the individual research
papers and patents and there is no magical formula which will work for all materials. The
configuration of the device used in the secondary emission process will need to vary to
meet the characteristics of the target material.

Once the primary electrons have impacted the target material and secondary electrons are
released, then the secondary electrons do not form a focused beam. Instead they tend to
just sit there in a cloud of electrons. Meanwhile the primary electrons will usually bounce
off the target at an angle equal to the angle with which they make incidence to the target.
This means that the kinetic energy of the primary electrons is greater than that of the
secondary electrons after impact. In other words the secondary electrons are indeed a
larger number of electrons—but they are of low voltage.

However numerous methods exist to increase the voltage or kinetic energy of the
secondary electrons.

One process which is common in devices which employ secondary electron emission is
that of multiple impacts upon this emissive target material. The great inventor, Philo
Farnsworth, was the first to devise methods to facilitate these multiple impacts upon
emissive materials. He called his devices “multipactors” because of the multiple impacts
they made with secondary electron emissive material. Thus, if a target electrode had a
secondary electron emission coefficient of 2 then the number of primary electrons would
double when they hit the target electrode. If there were two successive impacts then the
primary electrons would double, and then that total would double again—or be four times
the original primary electrons put into the device.

If the primary electrons were somehow sent through a series of 8 target electrodes then
the multiplication factor would become astronomical, and each of the impacts would
result in an exponential increase of electrons based upon the coefficient of secondary
electron emission from that material.

So various devices were designed and perfected to make the primary electrons impact
numerous electrodes one after another. One branch of these devices is employed by
photomultiplier tubes. Many of these devices are capable of multiplying the primary
electrons one hundred million times. Thus minute electric currents can be sensed and
multiplied so that they can register on scientific equipment. But numerous other
configurations and devices are in use today.

One method is to bounce the electrons off of two opposing electrodes over and over again,
like a game of ping pong. Another configuration would be to have the electrons strike
electrodes arranged inside a circular tube so that they impact coated electrodes over and
over again. A third method is that of forming a cascade of specially-coated electrodes and
having the primary electrons bounce off off each successive electrode until they all come
out the end.

Another genre of devices are called “channel” devices. In these designs the primary
electrons are sent down a waveguide or tunnel of some sort and the entire length of the
device is coated with the emissive materials. The electrons keep bouncing off the walls of
these guides until they reach the end and the repeated impacts result in a high
multiplication of the primary electrons.

One of the axioms of electricity is that current will not conduct very well when exposed
to the atmosphere because the gas acts as an insulator. Therefore most secondary electron
emission devices were made in the form of vacuum tubes. The electricity goes through
the vacuum without loss and then the impacts upon emissive material have the desired

However secondary emission and multipactors have been made into semiconductors and
chips. These use the process of “avalanche” multiplication in many instances, where the
electrons hit the emissive substance and are then multiplied and pass through a solid state
stack of materials. Sometimes the semiconductors include a tiny vacuum space and they
act in the same way as a vacuum tube.

However there is a snag or two for the use of secondary emission in chips. The first
problem is “space charge”. That is the effect of completely filling up a given space with
electrons. One you saturate the evacuated space with space charge then an equilibrium
state is achieved and the primary electrons will no longer multiply as desired. As you
might guess, the greater the area the more electrons will fit into the space before the
space charge saturates the area. The space charge, then, has been found to diminish as to
the 4/3 power of the area of the evacuated space. This means that, for instance, if you
triple the size of vacuum space then that would result in 3x 4/3 power= 12/3 power (or
the 4
power). Then a tripling of space would end up in shrinking the space charge by the
power. The bottom line is that bigger is better.

The second drawback to micro multipactors is that the vacuums must be higher than in
vacuum tubes, and this is hard to achieve. Also many devices use sharp points as
electrodes because more electrodes will emit from sharp points than from blunt shapes. In
the micro world though the sharpness of the sharp point has to be correspondingly
sharper. The finer the point on the electrode the harder it is to fabricate and fit into the
layered semiconductor devices.

What this book hopes to achieve is not the simple multiplication of electrons to provide
light or brightness but to generate electricity on a larger scale. The aim is not to build a
generator station for thousands of people but to scale the multipactor devices to work
with individual appliances and vehicles. Thus the size and rated capacities of the
components in the proposed multipactors must be designed to be in the range of home
current up to the amount of voltage and current required to power an electric car.

At this point the discussion of secondary electron emission must include some of the
math and physics. Don’t let your eyes glaze over. Everybody knows a little bit about
electricity—and it is pretty simple. But there is a hazy horizon on the amount of
knowledge of the basics of electricity. The terms are VOLTAGE, AMPERAGE and
POWER. The easy rule of thumb is that VOLTAGE x AMPS = POWER.

You need to throw in the RESISTANCE into this formula—but for now we will stick

OK—so we will calculate one AMP. An Ampere involves the amount of “charge”, which
is calculated in terms of a COULOMB. A Coulomb is −6.24151 × 10
So the process of secondary electron emission results in a lot of electrons.
The secondary electrons are not moving very much after they are multiplied.
So they have low voltage—but they DO have AMPERAGE because of the presence of
lots of electrons.

The purpose of this analysis is to point out that we have low volts and high amps from
secondary emission. When you remember volts x amps = power then you can see that we
have to have just a high enough voltage to meet the requirements of modern electrical

There are numerous well-known devices which can act as VOLTAGE MULTIPLIERS.
These devices will increase the voltage, but only at the expense of a proportional
decrease in the amperage.

The end product of these multipactors can be made usable, therefore, by running these
high amperage currents through a voltage multiplier. You just fine-tune the voltage
multiplier to give the right mix of volts and amps.

In short, secondary electron emission creates NEW electrons. We put the new electrons
to use by stepping up the voltage to required levels.

In this way the laws of conservation of energy are negotiated. The multipactor creates
new electrons and THEN the energy is converted from one form into another. But there is
indeed a creation of new electrons in multipactors.

I will leave it to the scientists and inventors in their respective papers and patents to
describe the manner in which the secondary electrons are created and how the
multipactor devices are designed.

The point of my analysis is simply that the multipactors will create new electrons and the
new electrons can be made usable through voltage multipliers.

One of these voltage multipliers is a Cockroft-Walton circuit. Modern electronics has
manufactured numerous cheap transistor devices that you could get at Radio Shack or
electric supply houses. A Cockroft-Walton circuit is simply a ladder of diodes and
capacitors (pennies apiece) which double the voltage at each step of the ladder. So a
multi-step ladder creates a multiple doubling of the original voltage. Some of the older
designs apply a step-up transformer to do the same thing.

A simple Cockroft-Walton multiplier would look like this

So we see that there is a problem with voltage in secondary electron emission. The
inventors have figured out a method to use voltage to their advantage in the multipactor
devices. They apply the rule that opposite charges attract. This accelerates the cloud of
secondary electrons so that they will impact the next target with it’s emissive coating.
The electron is a negative charge. So the inventors manipulate the sluggish cloud of
negative charge by providing a positive electrode to put it into motion.

Some designs will make the next electrode one with a positive charge, so when the
primary electrons strike the first target and are multiplied then the cloud of secondary
electrons is accelerated right up to the second electrode coated with emissive materials.
When they make a long chain or cascade of these target electrodes then they give each of
them a successively higher positive charge so that the ever-increasing cloud of secondary
electrons is accelerated one step at a time in the desired direction.

Other designs use an electrode which is positioned between the first impact target and the
second and they give that intermediate electrode a positive charge to accelerate the cloud
of secondary electrons in the desired direction. This intermediate electrode might be in
the form of a screen or grid or a tube. The positive charge, in every instance, attracts the
opposite charge on the electrons and they are suddenly accelerated through the holes in
these intermediate electrodes and then the electrons continue with their increased voltage
until they impact the coated electrode. This step may be repeated again and again.

The positive charge on these attracting electrodes is often provided by using Cockroft-
Walton circuits. So either a single or a multi-step CW circuit may be used to multiply an
initial small current to give a charge bias of increasing strength to a series of attracting
electrodes. Oftentimes the CW circuit contains “taps” which tap the current at a certain
step in that multiplying step ladder. The step would then have one voltage level to apply
to the attracting electrode, and then the next step would have a higher voltage which
could be tapped at that level and applied to the next attracting electrode, and so on.

Going back the purpose of this analysis again: we are trying to get as many electrons as
possible out of the multipactor. So the gameplan is to select the coating material for
electrodes which has the highest secondary electron emission coefficient. Then the
voltage at which the primary electrons must be accelerated to achieve the optimal
secondary emission must be applied. The spatial requirements are important too because
we want the right angle and the right depth for the impact zone. So we get the highest
electron multiplication at each step. Then we take that level of electron multiplication and
exponentially multiply it by the number of impacts in the multipactor device.

Some devices, as aforestated, simply bounce the electrons back and forth between two
opposed electrodes. In these designs the electrons are moving at the speed of light, so
they hit the opposite electrode in a known length of time. Then they bounce back to the
original electrode. The desired effect is to have but one cloud of secondary electrons
bouncing back and forth, and not a lot of different clouds. Therefore the two electrodes
are given opposite charges, positive and negative, and these charges are sequentially
reversed so that the electron cloud always moves away from the first electrode after they
have been multiplied and then toward the target electrode for more multiplication. Since
we know the distance between the two electrodes and because the speed of light is known,
then we can determine the FREQUENCY at which the electric charge is reversed on
these electrodes. So, take the speed of light and divide it by the distance between the
electrodes. Say, 186,000 miles per second divided by 6 inches.

The resulting frequency is in the range of billions of cycles per second.
There are modern oscillator chips which cost pennies which can do that.

The point here is that we take the secondary electron coefficient, and let’s say that this is
2 for the sake of argument. Then we apply the frequency of the impacts on these emissive
electrodes—and that is perhaps one billion times per second. In this example we would
then obtain 2 to the one billionth power!

Are you beginning to get the picture?

If we make the device the right size so that the space charge does not saturate the vacuum
then we can generate sufficient electrons so that we can step up the voltage and step
down the amperes to achieve the desired power characteristics for our electric appliance
or motor.

For the purposes of our last example we have a secondary emission coefficient of 2, or a
doubling of the primary electrons at each impact with the electrode with the emissive
coating. But what if the secondary emission coefficient were 10…or 100…or even 1000?
Just apply the math and you can see the possibilities of these multipactors.

Attached to this anthology is one of the latest research papers from Korea where
scientists have obtained a new record for the secondary emission coefficient: 22,000!

Thus reason dictates that the proper coating must be selected for the electrodes. Then the
rest of the components must be selected and positioned so that the size, frequency and
angle of impact are optimal.

I think I heard somebody say, “Hey, Einstein—it still has to be hooked up to electricity to
start up and to power the attracting electrodes. What about that?”

The answer lies in the principle of feedback and self-oscillation. We know that many
oscillators are known to exhibit the characteristic of self-oscillation. Once you get them
going then they tend to keep on oscillating on their own. This process works in
multipactor-oscillators. It just takes a little electricity to get them started and then the
internal processes take over and they self-oscillate, producing electrons without the input
of outside electricity.

Many electronic devices apply the principle of feedback, especially in audio devices. We
can remember Jimi Hendrix hitting a note on his guitar and then holding the guitar in
front of his amplifier. The amp’s sound creates a feedback loop with the guitar and a
sound is created which is self-sustaining without the additional input of playing another
note. Numerous transistors work with feedback loops to take the electrical output of the
device and split that output and send part of it back to the original input where it is again
amplified. So the coupling of the output to the input wires is what is required.

So using either feedback or self-oscillation or both a multipactor device can be fabricated
so that it will have self-sustaining output of electrons.

That still leaves us the positive bias charge that is placed upon the attracting electrodes to
accelerate those sluggish clouds of secondary electrons.

Again, we simply split the output signal and loop part of it back to the accelerating
electrodes, and this is the positive charge remember. So the negative charge goes back to
feedback the input and the other loop goes to the voltage multiplier. A Cockroft-Walton
multiplier can be either positive or negative in charge—you simply reverse the
connection between the diodes and capacitors and it multiplies the positive charge.

Therefore, we could use batteries to start up the multipactor and then apply common
electronics components and devices to split the output and loop it back to the input and
bias the positive electrodes. Then the battery can be shut off, and even recharged while
the multipactor runs on self-sustaining current.

That guy who used Einstein’s name like a dirty word again wants to voice his opinion,
“Hey, genius, this stuff is a bunch of hooey! How do we know this would work?”

How do we know?
Because of TELEVISION.
These multipactor devices were invented by Philo Farnsworth when he invented
television. Just one glance at this super-egghead fellow should give you the answer. This
guy was a super-brain and he just NEEDED to have special vacuum tubes to strengthen
the broadcast signal of television from remote locations to make the picture tubes bright
enough to see—so he simply invented multipactors to multiply that weak input signal.
Check out that cranium!

If these multipactors work then why didn’t Farnsworth take over the whole world?
The reason is related to the laws of business and not the laws of physics. Philo
Farnsworth saw the value of television and his multipactors but he had an independent
streak which caused him to form his own Farnsworth Television company with which he
intended to put RCA and GE out of business. Instead they put Farnsworth out of business
by using monopoly tactics. But Philo Farnsworth applied his principles based upon
secondary electron emission to the point that he invented a nuclear fusion reactor before
he was through.

The heyday of vacuum tubes was filled with imitators of every sort. There is even an
International Patent classification which contains only “Farnsworth Tubes”.

Since Farnsworth’s day the vacuum tube was supplanted by the Japanese transistor and
then the Silicon Valley semiconductor chip. Nobody makes vacuum tubes anymore and
the vacuum tube multipactor concepts have been lost in the world of microelectronics.
But even today secondary electron emission is applied in the plasma television sets where
scores of little holes and dots are brightened by electron multiplication. Other areas such
as scintillation counters and electron detectors and night vision goggles use the process,
often in the solid-state configuration. There exists an offshoot applying vacuum tubes—
the sector called PHOTONICS which use vacuum tubes to multiply light into electronic

As stated above, there are several basic methods of achieving multiple impacts of


The BACK AND FORTH method:


Secondary Emission Coefficients

These graphs and excerpts were developed over a period of time. The more ancient the
research the lower the coefficients. As newer and newer materials were invented and
tested there is a general trend toward higher and higher coefficients. I would respectfully
call your attention to the source material in the following sections for detailed analyis of
the methodology and results of individual studies and devices with various emissive

Attention should be paid to the voltage required to obtain a certain coefficient of
secondary electron multiplication. The graphs are not in parallel so they are slightly
different pictures. But they should give a general idea of how much electron
multiplication could be obtained by a particular substance.

The following chapters will discuss individual studies and patents. Some of these
resource documents contain excellent discussion of historical development of the
secondary electron emission devices. It is of note that secondary electron emission was
first discovered about a century ago, and the first patent for a vacuum tube as applied for
in 1919.

The discussion also includes mention of “work factor” as an indicator of secondary
emission coefficient. The lower the work factor the higher the coefficient.

Another area of interest is that of “negative electron affinity” as an explanation for
secondary electron emission. In short, the term affinity implies that a particular substance
either likes or rejects electrons. The materials with negative electron affinity then are
predisposed to not like negatively-charged particles and thus reject them when

Treatises on vacuum tubes have been consulted and quoted in pertinent part. Patents are
inserted to this anthology to examine their significance at particular points in time.
Various studies on the individual materials exhibiting secondary emission.

Finally, I include several of my own designs for multipactor devices to power electrical
appliances and motors.
1. Introduction
The photomultiplier is a very versatile and
sensitive detector of radiant energy in the
ultraviolet, visible, and near infrared regions
of the electromagnetic spectrum. A schemat-
ic diagram of a typical photomultiplier tube
is given in Fig. 1. The basic radiation sensor
is the photocathode which is located inside a
vacuum envelope. Photoelectrons are emit-
ted and directed by an appropriate electric
field to an electrode or dynode within the
envelope. A number of secondary electrons
are emitted at this dynode for each imping-
ing primary photoelectron. These secondary
electrons in turn are directed to a second
dynode and so on until a final gain of
perhaps 10
is achieved. The electrons from
the last dynode are collected by an anode
which provides the signal current that is read
Fig. 1 - Schematic representation of a photo-
multiplier tube and its operation
For a large number of applications, the
photomultiplier is the most practical or sen-
sitive detector available. The basic reason
for the superiority of the photomultiplier is
the secondary-emission amplification that
makes it possible for the tube to approach
“ideal” device performance limited only by
the statistics of photoemission. Amplifica-
tions ranging from 10
to as much as 10
provide output signal levels that are com-
patible with auxiliary electronic equipment
without need for additional signal amplifica-
tion. Extremely fast time response with rise
times as short as a fraction of a nanosecond
provides a measurement capability in special
applications that is unmatched by other
radiation detectors.
The development (history) of the photo-
multiplier is rooted in early studies of secon-
dary emission. In 1902, Austin and Starke
reported that the metal surfaces impacted by
cathode rays emitted a larger number of elec-
trons than were incident. The use of secon-
dary emission as a means for signal
amplification was proposed as early as
In 1935, Iams and Salzberg
of RCA
reported on a single-stage photomultiplier.
The device consisted of a semicylindrical
photocathode, a secondary emitter mounted
on the axis, and a collector grid surrounding
the secondary emitter. The tube had a gain
of about eight. Because of its better frequen-
cy response the single-stage photomultiplier
was intended for replacement of the gas-
filled phototube as a sound pickup for
movies. But despite its advantages, it saw
only a brief developmental sales activity
before it became obsolete.
Multistage Devices
In 1936, Zworykin, Morton, and Malter,
all of RCA4 reported on a multistage
photomultiplier. Again, the principal con-
templated application was sound-on-film
pickup. Their tube used a combination of
electrostatic and magnetic fields to direct
electrons from stage to stage. A photograph
of a developmental sample is given in Fig. 2.
Although the magnetic-type photomultiplier
provided high gain, it had several dif-
ficulties. The adjustment of the magnetic
field was very critical, and to change the gain
by reducing the applied voltage, the
magnetic field also had to be adjusted.
Photomultiplier Handbook
Another problem was that its rather wide
open structure resulted in high dark current
because of feedback from ions and light
developed near the output end of the device.
For these reasons, and because of the
development of electrostatically focused
photomultipliers, commercialization did not
Fig. 2 - Magnetic-type multistage photomul-
tiplier reported by Zworykin, Morton, and
Malter in 1936.
The design of multistage electrostatically
focused photomultipliers required an
analysis of the equipotential surfaces be-
tween electrodes and of the electron trajec-
tories. Before the days of high-speed com-
puters, this problem was solved by a
mechanical analogue: a stretched rubber
membrane. By placing mechanical models of
the electrodes under the membrane, the
height of the membrane was controlled and
corresponded to the electrical potential of
the electrode. Small balls were then allowed
to roll from one electrode to the next. The
trajectories of the balls were shown to cor-
respond to those of the electrons in the cor-
responding electrostatic fields. Working
with the rubber-dam analogue, both J.R.
Pierce5 of Bell Laboratories and J.A.
Rajchman6 of RCA devices linear arrays of
electrodes that provided good focusing prop-
erties. Although commerical designs did not
result immediately from the linear dynode
array, The Rajchmann design with some
modifications eventually was, and still is,
used in photomultipliers-particularly for
high-gain wide-bandwidth requirements.
First Commercial Devices
The first commercially successful
photomultiplier was the type 931. This tube
had a compact circular array of nine
dynodes using electrostatic focusing. The
first such arrangement was described by
Zworykin and Rajchman.7 Modifications
were later reported by Rajchmann and
and by Janes and Gloverg, all of
RCA. The basic electron-optics of the cir-
cular cage was thus well determined by 1941
and has not changed to the present time
although improvements have been made in
processing, construction, and performance
of the 931A product.
The success of the 931 type also resulted
from the development of a much improved
photocathode, Cs
Sb, reported by Gorlich
in 1936. The first experimental photo-
multipliers had used a Ag-O-Cs photocath-
ode having a typical peak quantum efficien-
cy of 0.4% at 800 nm. (The Ag-O-Cs layer
was also used for the dynodes.) The new
Cs3Sb photocathode had a quantum effi-
ciency of 12% (higher today) at 400 nm. It
was used in the first 931’s, both as a
photocathode and as a secondary-emitting
material for the dynodes.
Photocathode Materials
Much of the development work on
photomultiplier tubes has been concerned
with their physical configuration and the
related electron optics. But a very important
part of the development of photomultiplier
tubes was related to the photocathode and
secondary-emission surfaces and their pro-
cessing. RCA was very fortunate during the
1950’s and 60’s in having on its staff, prob-
ably the world’s foremost photocathode ex-
pert, Dr. A.H. Sommer. His treatise on
Photoemissive Materials1 1 continues to pro-
vide a wealth of information to all
photocathode process engineers.
Sommer explored the properties of
numerous photocathode materials-par-
ticularly alkali-antimonides. Perhaps his
most noteworthy contribution was the
multialkali photocathode (S-20 spectral
response). This photocathode, Na2KSb:Cs,
is important because of its high sensitivity in
the red and near infrared; the earlier Cs
photocathode spectral response barely ex-
tends through the visible, although it is very
sensitive in the blue where most scintillators
Bialkali photocathodes were also de-
veloped by Sommer and have proven to be
better in some applications than the Cs3Sb
photocathode. Thus, the Na2KSb photo-
cathode has been found to be stable at higher
temperatures than Cs3Sb and, in addition,
has a very low dark (thermal) emission. It
has been particularly useful in oil-well-
logging applications. Another bialkali pho-
tocathode, K2CsSb, is more sensitive than
Cs3Sb in the blue and is, therefore, used by
RCA to provide a better match to the
NaI:Tl crystals used in scintillation count-
Dynode Materials
The first secondary-emission material
used practically by RCA was the Ag-O-Cs
surface. But with the development of the
Cs3Sb material for photocathodes, it was
found that this material was also an excellent
secondary emitter. Other practical secondary
emitters developed during the early years of
photomultiplier development were MgO:Cs
(often referred to as “silver-magnesium”)
and BeO:Cs (“copper-beryllium”).
In the early 1960’s, R.E. Simon12 while
working at the RCA Laboratories developed
his revolutionary concept of Negative Elec-
tron Affinity (NEA). Electron affinity is the
energy required for an electron at the
conduction-band level to escape to the
vacuum level. By suitably treating the sur-
face of a p-type semiconductor material, the
band levels at the surface can be bent
downward so that the effective electron af-
finity is actually negative. Thermalized elec-
trons in the conduction band are normally
repelled by the electron-affinity barrier; the
advantage of the NEA materials is that these
electrons can now escape into the vacuum as
they approach the surface. In the case of
secondary emission, secondary electrons can
be created at greater depths in the material
and still escape, thus providing a much
greater secondary-emission yield. In the case
of photoemission, it has been possible to
achieve extended-red and infrared sen-
sitivities greater than those obtainable with
any other known materials. The first prac-
tical application of the NEA concept was to
secondary emission.
Simon and Williams l3
An early paper by
described the theory
and early experimental results of secondary-
emission yields as high as 130 at 2.5 kV for
Astronomy and Spectroscopy
Early applications of the photomultiplier
were in astronomy and spectroscopy.
Because the effective quantum efficiency of
the photomultiplier was at least ten times
that of photographic film, astronomers were
quick to realize the photomultiplier tube’s
advantage. Furthermore, because the output
current of the photomultiplier is linear with
incident radiation power, the tube could be
used directly in photometric and spec-
trophotometric astronomy. The type 1P28, a
tube similar to the 931 but having an
ultraviolet-transmitting envelope was par-
ticularly useful in spectroscopy. The size and
shape of the photocathode were suitable for
the detection and measurement of line spec-
tra and the very wide range of available gain
proved very useful.
Radar Jammer
A totally unexpected application for the
new photomultiplier tube occurred during
World War II. The development of radar for
detecting and tracking aircraft led to the
simultaneous need for wideband electronic-
noise sources as radar jammers. Although
other sources of noise were tried, the
photomultiplier proved to be most suc-
cessful. The advantage of the tube was its
high gain (107) and wide band width (several
hundred MHz). As a noise source the tube
was operated with a non-modulated input
light source and with high gain. The output
amplifier photoelectric shot noise was
“white” and thus indistinguishable from
natural noise sources. This application of
photomultiplier tubes resulted in production
of thousands per month compared with
previous production measured in only hun-
dreds per year.
Scintillation Counting
A proliferation of photomultiplier designs
followed the invention of the scintillation
counter shortly after World War II.
photomultiplier tubes were designed with
semitransparent photocathodes deposited on
an end window which could be coupled
directly to the scintillator. The principal
scintillator used, NaI doped with thallium,
was discovered by Hofstadter17. Much of
the development work on photomultiplier
Photomultiplier Handbook
tubes during this period was reported by
RCA and its competitors in the biannual
meetings of the Scintillation Counter Sym-
posium. These symposia were reported fully
in the IRE (and later the IEEE) Transactions
on Nuclear Science beginning with the
meeting in Washington, January 1948. The
scintillation counter became the most impor-
tant measurement instrument in nuclear
physics, nuclear medicine, and radioactive
tracer applications of a wide variety.
Headlight Dimmer
During the 1950’s, RCA collaborated with
the General Motors Company (Guide-Lamp
Division) on a successful headlight dimmer.
The photoelectric headlight dimmer-first
made available only on Cadillacs and
Oldsmobiles-basically used a tube similar
to the 931A, but redesigned and tested to the
auto manufacturer’s particular require-
ments. The optical engineering problem was
to sense the oncoming headlights or tail-
lights being followed without responding to
street and house lights. Vertical and horizon-
tal angular sensitivity was designed to match
the spread of the high beams of the automo-
bile. A red filter was installed in the optical
path to provide a better balance between sen-
sitivity to oncoming headlights and to tail-
lamps being followed. The device achieved a
remarkable success, probably because of the
novelty, and thousands of photomultiplier
tubes were used. But today, one rarely sees a
headlight dimmer.
Medical Diagnostic Equipment
In recent years two medical applications
have used large numbers of photomultiplier
tubes and have spurred further develop-
ments and improvements. The gamma cam-
era18 is a sophisticated version of the scin-
tillation counter used medically for locating
tumors or other biological abnormalities. A
radioactive isotope combined in a suitable
compound is injected into the blood stream
or ingested orally by the patient. The
radioactive material disintegrates and gam-
ma rays are ejected from preferential loca-
tions such as tumors or specific organs. A
large crystal intercepts the gamma rays and
scintillates. Behind the crystal are photo-
multiplier tubes, perhaps 19, in hexagonal
array. The location of the point of scintilla-
tion origin is obtained by an algorithm
depending upon the individual signals from
each of the photomultipliers. Counting is
continued until several hundred thousand
counts are obtained and the organ in ques-
tion is satisfactorily delineated. The location
of each scintillation is represented by a point
on a cathode-ray-tube presentation.
The Computerized Axial Tomographic
(CAT) scanner was introduced to this coun-
try in 1973. The device uses a pencil or fan-
beam of X-rays which rotates around the pa-
tient providing X-ray transmission data
from many directions. A scintillator coupled
to a photomultiplier detects the transmitted
beam-as an average photomultiplier cur-
rent-and a computer stores and computes
the cross-section density variation of the pa-
tient’s torso or skull. The photomultipliers
are1/ or
/4-inch end-on tubes which
couple to the scintillator, commonly BGO
(bismuth germanate). Each unit is equipped
with as many as 600 photomultipliers.
In some applications either a photomulti-
plier or solid-state detector could be used.
The user may make his choice on the basis of
factors such as cost, size, or previous ex-
perience. In other applications, the choice
may be dictated by fundamental properties
of the photomultiplier or the solid-state
detector. A discussion follows of some of the
common applications favoring one or the
other detector with reasons for the choice. A
summary presents the principal considera-
tions the user must apply in making a choice
in an application for which he requires a
photodetector. This information should be
particularly useful to the designer who is not
well acquainted in this field.
Photomultiplier Features
The photomultiplier is unique in its ability
to interface with a scintillation crystal and
not only count the scintillations but measure
their magnitude and time their arrival. Most
scintillators emit in the blue and near ultra-
violet. This spectral output obviously favors
the photomultiplier having a photocathode
with high quantum efficiency in the short
wavelength range. On the other hand a sili-
con p-i-n diode is relatively poor in this part
of the spectrum but does best in the red and
near infrared. The most important factor,
probably, is the gain of the photomultiplier
which permits the measurement of the very
small signals from individual scintillations
with a good signal-to-noise ratio, limited
primarily by the statistics of the number of
photoelectrons per pulse. Finally, the short
rise time of the photomultiplier using fast
scintillators permits time-of-flight measure-
ments to be made in nuclear physics.
Although the CAT scanner equipment
also uses photomultipier tubes to detect the
scintillations in bismuth germanate (BGO)
crystals, the situation is somewhat different
from the scintillation counting applications
discussed above. In the CAT scanner the
X-rays produce a broad band of pulse
heights and no attempt is made to single out
and detect single scintillation events. The
photomultiplier is used in an analog mode to
detect the level of radiation incident on the
crystal. In the CAT scan operation the
typical machine scans the patient in a few
seconds and the level of irradiance from the
crystal onto the photomultiplier is relatively
high so that only a relatively low gain photo-
multiplier is required. Furthermore, the
speed of response requirement for the
photomultiplier is relatively modest-per-
haps a few hundred microseconds. Still, the
principal advantage of using a photomulti-
plier in this application for the detection of
the radiant signal is its good signal-to-noise
ratio. This ratio is very important to the pa-
tient because a reduction in its signal-to-
noise ratio would have to be made up for
with an increased X-ray dose. Nevertheless,
there is interest and development activity
aimed at replacing the photomultiplier with
silicon p-i-n detectors. Two factors could
favor the alternate use of a silicon cell: (1) a
better scintillator (BGO is almost an order of
magnitude less sensitive than NaI:Tl; (2) a
faster scanning machine (a very desirable
technological advance because is would
minimize effects of body motions). Both of
these factors would result in a larger
photocurrent and could bring the signal level
for the silicon detector to the point where the
fundamental signal-to-noise ratio from the
X-ray source would not be degraded. Such
developments may be anticipated because
the silicon detector would also have the ad-
vantage of smaller size and perhaps lower
As a result of increasing concern about en-
vironment, pollution monitoring is becom-
ing another important application for photo-
multiplier tubes. For example, in the moni-
toring of NO
the gas sample is mixed with
in a reaction chamber. A chemilum-
inescence results which is measured using a
near-infrared-pass filter and a photomulti-
plier having an S-20 spectral response. Al-
though the radiation level is very low, NO
can be detected down to a level of 0.1 ppm.
The advantage of the photomultiplier in this
application is again the high gain and good
signal-to-noise ratio (the photomultiplier is
cooled to 0°C to reduce dark-current noise)
even though the radiation spectrum is ob-
served near the threshold of the S-20 spectral
In another pollution-monitoring applica-
tion, SO2 is detected down to a level of 0.002
ppm. Here, the sample containing SO
is ir-
radiated with ultraviolet and the excited SO2
molecules fluoresce with blue radiation that
is detected with a combination of a narrow-
band filter and photomultiplier. Very weak
signals are detected and again it is the high
gain, good signal-to-noise ratio and, in addi-
tion, good blue sensitivity which makes the
detection and measurement of small contam-
inations of SO
Spectroscopy is one of the very early ap-
plications for photomultipliers. The wide
range of radiation levels encountered is
readily handled by the approximately loga-
rithmic gain variation of the photomultiplier
with voltage. At very low signal levels, the
signal-to-noise capability of the photomulti-
plier is essential. Because photomultiplier
spectral response (with quartz or ultraviolet-
transmitting-glass windows) covers the range
from ultraviolet to near infrared, the
photomultiplier is the logical choice for spec-
troscopic applications, except in the infrared
region of the spectrum.
Photocell* Features
Because of their small size and low cost,
CdSe and CdS type photocells are the logical
selection for applications such as automatic
exposure control in photographic cameras or
various inspection and counting require-
*“Photocell” is used here to indicate a photosensitive
device in which the charge transport takes place through
a solid as compared with “phototube” in which the
charge transport is through a vacuum.
Photomultiplier Handbook
Many p-i-n silicon cells are used in com-
bination with lasers or LED’s (light emitting
diodes). Here, one of the principal advantages
of the silicon cell is its good response in the
near infrared out to 1100 nm. In combina-
tion with the Nd:YAG laser emitting at 1060
nm, the silicon cell is used widely in laser
ranging and laser tracking. A similar ap-
plication utilizes an LED emitting near 900
nm with a silicon cell for automatic ranging
for special camera equipment. Size and in-
frared sensitivity are again the important
A rapidly growing application for photo-
cells is for fiber-optic communication
systems. LED’s are coupled to the fibers and
the detector may be a p-i-n diode or, for a
better signal-to-noise ratio, a silicon ava-
lanche diode. The qualifying attributes for
the choice of detector are size, near infrared
sensitivity, adequate speed of response, and
good signal-to-noise ratio.
Smoke detectors now use large numbers of
LED’s and p-i-n silicon cells. Again size,
cost, and infrared sensitivity are the impor-
tant qualifications.
Characteristics Comparison Summary
Spectral Response. Photomultipliers can
be obtained with good spectral sensitivity in
the range 200 to 900 nm. Silicon cells have
rather poor blue sensitivity, but are excellent
out to 1100 nm. In general, then, the photo-
multiplier is to be preferred for applications
involving the shorter wavelengths, although
other factors may override this considera-
Speed of Response. If very fast response is
required, the photomultiplier is usually the
best choice of a detector. Photomultipliers
are available with rise times (10 to 90%) of 1
or 2 nanoseconds using a 50-ohm load. The
inherent rise time of silicon cells may be in
the range 10 to 20 nanoseconds, depending
upon the area of the cell. However, because
of the cell’s capacitance, the effective rise
time is much longer depending upon the
choice of load resistance. For example, with
a 1-megohm load resistance, the rise time
may be of the order of 20 microseconds. A
fairly large load resistance must be chosen to
maintain good signal-to-noise characteristics
for the silicon cell. Silicon avalanche photo-
diodes can have rise times as short as 2
nanoseconds. Gain for an avalanche photo-
diode can be of the order of 100, but the sen-
sitive area is small-about 0.5 square
Sensitive Area. Photomultiplier tubes are
made in a variety of sizes so that many dif-
ferent optical configurations can be accom-
modated. The largest photocathode area
available in commercial RCA photomulti-
plier tubes has a nominal diameter of 5 in-
ches and a minimum useful area of 97 square
centimeters. By way of contrast, the
side-on photomultiplier has a projected pho-
tocathode area of 0.14 square centimeter.
Silicon p-i-n diodes are available with sen-
sitive areas generally not larger than 1 square
centimeter; and avalanche silicon cells, 0.005
square centimeter. In many applications, a
fairly large area is required, e.g., coupling to
a cathode-ray tube or a large scintillator.
This requirement generally indicates the use
of a photomultiplier tube. Silicon cells are at
an advantage when the source is small for
direct coupling or for lens imaging.
Temperature. Photomultipliers are gener-
ally not rated for operation at temperatures
higher than 75° C. Exceptions are photomul-
tipliers having a Na
KSb photocathode. This
bi-alkali photocathode can tolerate temper-
atures up to 150° C or even higher for short
cycles. In oil-well logging measurements this
consideration is important. Photocathode
sensitivities and gain change very little with
temperature, but dark current does increase
rapidly. Dark currents at room temperature
are of the order of 10 - l5 ampere at the pho-
tocathode and double about every 10° C.
Silicon cells are rated from - 50 to 80° C.
Sensitivities are also relatively independent
of temperature. But dark current which may
be 10-
ampere at room temperature, also
tends to double about every 10° C.
Signal-to-Noise Ratio. At very low light
levels, the limitation to detection and
measurement is generally the signal-to-noise
ratio. One way of describing the limit to
detection is to state the Equivalent Noise In-
put (ENI) or the Noise Equivalent Power
(NEP). The NEP is the power level into the
device which provides a signal just equal to
the noise. Most often the bandwidth is
specified as 1 hertz and the wavelength of the
measurement is at the peak of the spectral
responsivity. ENI is the same type of specifi-
cation except the unit instead of power may
be luminous flux.
For a photomultiplier such as one used for
spectroscopy, the NEP at room temperature
at 400 nm is about 7 x 10
watts, or the
EN1 is about 7 x 10 - l3 lumens. Both
specifications are for a l-hertz ban dwidth.
For a p-i-n silicon photocell, the NEP at 900
nanometers may be of the order of 2 x
watts, or the EN1 of 1.5 x 10
lumens. Both values are for a l-hertz band-
width. Thus, the photomultiplier is clearly
superior in this category. Also it should be
pointed out that the silicon diode must be
coupled into a load resistance of about 5
megohms in order to avoid noise domination
from the coupling resistor. Unfortunately,
this large resistance then increases the effec-
tive rise time of the silicon device to about
100 microseconds. The NEP of a silicon ava-
lanche photodiode is about 10
watt at
900 nanometers or the ENI is 8 x 10 - l3
lumens, both for a l-Hz bandwidth. The
lumen in these descriptions is that from a
tungsten source operating at 2856 K color
temperature. Peak emission for such a
source is near 1000 nm and thus closely
matches the spectral peak of the silicon
Gain. A photomultiplier can have a gain
factor, by which the fundamental photo-
cathode signal is multiplied, of from 10
. Silicon avalanche photodiodes have a
gain of about 100. Silicon p-i-n diodes have
no gain. The high gain of the photomulti-
plier frequently eliminates the need of
special amplifiers, and its range of gain con-
trolled by the applied voltage provides flex-
ibility in operation.
Stability. Photomultiplier tubes are not
noted for great stability although for low
anode currents and careful operation they
are satisfactory. When the light level is
reasonably high, however, the very good
stability of the silicon p-i-n cell is a con-
siderable advantage. The silicon cell makes a
particularly good reference device for this
reason. In fact, the National Bureau of Stan-
dards has been conducting special calibra-
tion transfer studies using p-i-n silicon
1. H. Bruining, Physics and applications
of secondary electron emission, (McGraw-
Hill Book Co., Inc.; 1954).
2. J. Slepian, U.S. Patent 1, 450, 265,
April 3, 1923 (Filed 1919).
3. H. E. Iams and B. Salzberg, “The
secondary emission phototube,” Proc. IRE,
Vol. 23, pp. 55-64 (1935).
4. V.K. Zworykin, G.A. Morton, and L.
Malter, "The secondary-emission multipli -
er-a new electronic device,” Proc. IRE,
Vol. 24, pp. 351-375 (1936).
5. J. R. Pi er ce, “Electron-multiplier
design,” Bell Lab. Record, Vol. 16, pp.
305-309 (1938).
6. J.A. Rajchman, “Le courant residue1
dans les multiplicateurs d’electrons elec-
trostatiques,” These L’Ecole Polytechnique
Federale (Zurich, 1938).
7. V.K. Zworykin and J.A. Rajchman,
“The electrostatic electron multiplier, Proc.
IRE, Vol. 27, pp. 558-566 (1939).
8. J.A. Rajchman and R.L. Snyder, “An
electrostatically focused multiplier
phototube,” Electronics, Vol. 13, p. 20
9. R.B. Janes, and A.M. Glover, “Recent
developments in phototubes,” RCA Review,
Vol. 6, pp. 43-54 (1941). Also, A.M. Glover,
“A review of the development of sensitive
phototubes,” Proc. IRE, Vol. 29, pp.
413-423 (1941).
10. P. Gorlich, “Uber zusammengesetzte,
durchsichtige Photokathoden,” 2. Physik,
Vol. 101, p. 335 (1936).
11. A. H. Sommer, Phot oemi ssi ve
materials, John Wiley and Sons; 1968.
12. R.E. Simon, Research in electron
emission from semiconductors, Quarterly
Report, Contract DA 36-039-AMC-02221
(E) (1963).
13. R.E. Simon and B.F. Williams,
“Secondary-electron emission,” IEEE
Trans. Nucl. Sci., Vol. NS-15, pp. 166-170
14. M.H. Sweet, “Logarithmic photomul-
tiplier tube photometer,” JOSA, Vol. 37, p.
432 (1947).
15. H. Kallmann, Natur u Technik (July
16. J.W. Coltman and F.H. Marshall, “A
photomultiplier radiation detector,” Phys.
Rev., Vol. 72, p. 582 (1947).
17. R. Hofstadter, “Alkali halide scintilla-
tion counters,” Phys. Rev., Vol. 74, p. 100
18. H.O. Anger, “Scintillation camera”,
Rev. Sci. Instr., Vol. 29, pp. 27-33 (1958).
2. Photomultiplier Design
The earliest observation of a photoelectric
effect was made by Becquerel in 1839. He
found that when one of a pair of electrodes
in an electrolyte was illuminated, a voltage
or current resulted. During the latter part of
the 19th century, the observation of a
photovoltaic effect in selenium led to the
development of selenium and cuprous oxide
photovoltaic cells.
The emission of electrons resulting from
the action of light on a photoemissive sur-
face was a later development. Hertz dis-
covered the photoemission phenomenon in
1887, and in 1888 Hallwachs measured the
photocurrent from a zinc plate subjected to
ultraviolet radiation. In 1890, Elster and
Geitel produced a forerunner of the vacuum
phototube which consisted of an evacuated
glass bulb containing an alkali metal and an
auxiliary electrode used to collect the
negative electrical carriers (photoelectrons)
emitted by the action of light on the alkali
Basic Photoelectric Theory
The modern concept of photoelectricity
stems from Einstein’s pioneer work for
which he received the Nobel Prize. The
essence of Einstein’s work is the following
equation for determining the maximum
kinetic energy E of an emitted photoelec-
Eq. (1) shows that the maximum energy of
the emitted photoelectron mv2/2 is propor-
tional to the energy of the light quanta hv
must be given to an electron to allow it to
escape the surface of a metal. For each
metal, the photoelectric effect is character-
ed in electron-volts.
In the energy diagram for a metal shown
in Fig. 3, the work function represents the
energy which must be given to an electron at
the top of the energy distribution to raise it
to the level of the potential barrier at the
metal-vacuum interface.
92CS - 32289
Fig. 3 - Energy mode/ for a metal showing
the relationship of the work function and the
Fermi level.
According to the quantum theory, only
one electron can occupy a particular quan-
tum state of an atom. In a single atom, these
states are separated in distinct “shells”; nor-
mally only the lower energy states are filled.
In an agglomeration of atoms, these states
are modified by interaction with neighboring
atoms, particularly for the outermost elec-
trons of the atom. As a result, the outer
energy levels tend to overlap and produce a
continuous band of possible energy levels, as
shown in Fig. 3.
The diagram shown in Fig. 3 is for a
temperature of absolute zero; all lower
energy levels are filled. As the temperature is
increased, some of the electrons absorb ther-
mal energy which permits them to occupy
ELSEVIER Applied Surface Science 111 (1997) 251-258
s ur f a c e sci ence
Secondary electron emission studies
A. Shi h *, J. Yater, C. Hor, R. Abr ams
Nat al Research l_xlboratory, Washington. DC 20375, USA
Received 14 June 1996; revised 28 July 1996; accepted 23 August 1996
Secondary-electron-emission processes under electron bombardment play an important role in the performance of a
variety of electron devices. While in some devices, the anode and the grid require materials that suppress the secondary-elec-
tron-generation process, the crossed-field amplifier (CFA) is an example where the cathode requires an efficient secondary-
electron-emission material. Secondary-electron-emission processes will be discussed by a three-step process: penetration of
the primary electrons, transmission of the secondary electrons through the material, and final escape of the secondary
electrons over the vacuum barrier. The transmission of the secondary electrons is one of the critical factors in determining
the magnitude of the secondary-electron yield. The wide band-gap in an insulator prevents low-energy secondary electrons
from losing energy through electron-electron collisions, thereby resulting in a large escape depth for the secondary electrons
and a large secondary-electron yield. In general, insulating materials have high secondary-electron yields, but a provision to
supply some level of electrical conductivity is necessary in order to replenish the electrons lost in the secondary-electron-
emission process. Our secondary-emission study of diamond demonstrates that the vacuum barrier height can have a strong
effect on the total yield. The combined effect of a large escape depth of the secondary electrons and a low vacuum-barrier
height is responsible for the extraordinarily high secondary-electron yields observed on hydrogen-terminated diamond
1. Int roduct i on
Secondar y- el ect r on- emi s s i on pr ocesses under
el ect ron bombar dment pl ay an essential rol e in vac-
uum el ect roni c devi ces. The materials used in the
devi ces may need to be j udi ci ousl y sel ect ed in some
cases to enhance the secondar y- el ect r on emi ssi on
and in ot her cases to suppress the emi ssi on. In
mi cr owave and mi l l i met er wave power tubes, l ow
secondar y- el ect r on- emi ssi on mat eri al s are desirable
f or depressed col l ect ors in order to ensure a hi gh
effi ci ency in the ener gy conversi on. Low- emi ssi on
materials are al so sought for coat i ng the grids and
Corresponding author. Fax: + 1-202-7671280; e-mail address:
shih @
the tube walls t o prevent RF vacuum breakdown. On
t he ot her hand, hi gh secondar y- el ect r on- emi ssi on
materials are desirable f or grids in el ect ron multipli-
ers and for cat hodes in crossed-fi el d devi ces, whi ch
is the area of our interest.
Cr ossed- f i el d devi ces, e.g., magnet r ons and
crossed-fi el d amplifiers ( CFA) , have est abl i shed a
l ong hi st ory of appl i cat i ons in radar syst ems. Thei r
advant ages i ncl ude hi gh effi ci ency, l ow cost, l ow
vol t age, and compact ness. Consequent l y, t hey also
fi nd wi de appl i cat i ons in mi cr owave cooki ng, indus-
trial pr ocessi ng and radiation t herapy equi pment [1].
Mor e recent appl i cat i ons are f ound in the generat i on
of pl asma for preci si on et chi ng and in hi ghl y-effi -
ci ent electric lighting. Exot i c appl i cat i ons [1] are
bei ng expl or ed f or the generat i on of gi gawat t - power
0169-4332/97/$17.00 Copyright © 1997 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
PII S01 69- 4332( 96) 00729- 5
252 A. Shih et al. / Ap p l i e d SurJace Science 111 (1997) 251- 258
mi crowaves using a magnetically-insulated-line-
oscillator (MILO) concept, and for beaming power
(wireless power transmission) using an electroni-
cally-steerable-phased-array-module (ESPAM) con-
cept. A good knowledge of secondary-electron-emis-
sion processes are crucial to the design of these
devices. In some applications, e.g., AEGIS CFA' s,
only limited materials are available which have suffi-
ciently high secondary-electron yields to satisfy the
devi ce' s needs.
One of the major current challenges to crossed-
field devices ( CFD' s) is noise reduction. The re-
quirement on the signal-to-noise ratio becomes more
stringent in radar applications, which demand high
resolution and fast response for small and close-to-
gether targets in a cluttered environment. In mi-
crowave-oven applications, a potential interference
with the neighboring band allocated to the new
' wi r el ess' services calls for a reduction in the side-
band noise of the magnetrons. At present, CFDs are
much noisier than coupled-cavity traveling-wave
tubes, although in principle they should have compa-
rable noise characteristics [2,3]. Both experimental
and theoretical efforts are pursuing noise reduction
in CFDs with vigor. A thorough understanding of the
secondary-electron-emission processes is essential to
the success of these efforts. The secondary-electron-
emission characteristics of the cathodes are found to
have a maj or effect on the signal-to-noise ratio [4,5].
In particular, numerical simulations and experimental
results have demonstrated that a very high electron
emission (primary or secondary) would cause the
transition of the CFD to a low noise state [5].
Secondary-electron-emission is a complex pro-
cess, and theoretical treatments are numerous. Earlier
treatments have been reviewed by Dekker [6] and by
Hachenberg and Brauer [7]. More recent theoretical
developments are summarized by Devooght et al. [8].
While the earlier models produced an overall agree-
ment with experimental observations as good as the
more elaborate later models, the main problem was
the lack of justification for the simplifying assump-
tions [8]. These theories were able to predict most of
the important characteristics of the secondary-elec-
tron emission, such as the secondary-electron yield
as a function of primary-electron energy and the
energy distribution of the secondary electrons. All of
the theories predict well only the functional depen-
dence (but not the magnitude) of the emission, ex-
cept in the simple case of A1, which is close to the
assumed free-electron picture [9]. We will discuss
the secondary-electron-emission process in a mostly
qualitative manner, as done by Jenkin and Trodden
[10], and will support the discussion with our obser-
vations. The discussion of the secondary-emission
process is organized according to the distinct steps
used in all of the theories. The final step, which
involves the overcome of the vacuum barrier, was
considered to play only a minor role in the sec-
ondary-electron-emission process. However, the sec-
ondary-electron-emission behavior observed on dia-
mond demonstrates the important role of the vacuum
2. Primary electron penetration and internal sec-
ondary electron generation
The theories treat secondary-electron emission as
occurring in three distinct steps: ( l ) production of
internal secondary electrons by kinetic impact of the
primary electrons, (2) transport of the internal sec-
ondary electrons through the sample bulk toward the
surface, and (3) escape of the electrons through the
solid-vacuum interface.
The primary electrons are assumed to travel in a
straight-ahead path, slowing down through collisions
with electrons and ions and transferring kinetic en-
ergy to internally generated secondary electrons.
Most of the theories treat the energy loss according
to the ' power l aw' ,
d E A
d x E" ( 1 )
where E is the energy of a primary electron at a
depth x, and A is an arbitrary constant. N( x) , the
number of the secondary electrons produced in the
layer dx, is assumed to be equal to the energy loss in
the layer d E divided by the average excitation en-
ergy B. Thus,
d E
N( x ) d x = - ~ (2)
A straight forward derivation [ 10] leads to
N( x ) = B( R - x) " / " + ' (3)
A. Shih et al. / Applied Surf'ace Science I l l (1997) 251- 258 253
E~ +1
R ( 4)
( n + 1 ) a
where R is the maxi mum penetration depth and E o
is the initial energy of the pri mary electrons.
The best fit for the value of n was found to be
0.35, as determined by electron transmission mea-
surements in A1203 [11] as well as by fitting the
' reduced yield curves' [6] taken from many materi-
als. A quantum mechanical calculation [7] derived an
approxi mat e value of n = 0.39, which is fairly close
to 0.35. The value obtained for n is valid over the
energy range between 300 eV and 3 keV for the
theory and 300 eV and 7 keV for the experiments.
Eq. (3) reveals the increasing importance of sec-
ondary-electron production near the end of the pri-
mary-electron path and Eq. (4) points out that the
penetration depth of the pri mary electrons increases
with increasing energy. The former fact is clearly
shown in Fig. 1, which can be understood on a
physical level by considering a simple description of
the pri mary electrons movi ng through the solid. At
high pri mary energies, the high-velocity electrons
have a relatively short t i me to interact with the
lattice electrons, and the internal yield per unit length
is low. As the pri mary electrons lose energy, the
interaction time increases and so does the yield. The
combi ned effect is that as the primary-electron en-
ergy increases, the internal secondary electrons origi-
nate deeper beneath the surface.
The transport of secondary electrons through the
material is modeled by either a single-scattering
, , , I , , • ' • - - ' • • - ' . . . . . . . .
Fi g. 1. The pr oduct i on r at e of i nt er nal s econdar y el ect r ons as a
f unct i on of di s t ance a l ong t he pr i mar y- el ect r on pat h.
0 . 8 0 . i ;
0.00 "
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0=° o o
4 0 °
: 2 2 . 5 °
.?/ 0 °
. . . . i . . . . i . . . . i . . . . i
500 1000 1500 2000
Primary Electron Energy (eV)
Fig. 2. Changes in the secondary-electron yield with incident
angle 0. Normal incidence is at 0 = 0 °. The data were taken on a
clean molybdenum sample.
process or by a diffusion process which involves a
large number of scattering events. Some later models
explicitly take into account the electron-cascade pro-
cess, which is the electron multiplication that occurs
during the slowing-down of the internal secondary
electrons. In all of the models, the escape of the
internal secondary electrons is described by an expo-
nential decay law with a characteristic escape depth
X s •
Based on the penetration-depth ( R) and escape-
depth (X~) concepts, the shape of the secondary-elec-
tron yield curve as a function of the primary energy
is easily explained [10]. At very low primary ener-
gies for which R << X~, the internal secondary elec-
trons escape efficiently, and due to the small primary
energy only a few secondary electrons are created.
Since the number of internal secondary electrons
generated increases with primary energy, the ob-
served yield also rises with primary energy. At very
high primary energies for which R >> X~, the expo-
nential nature of the escape process causes the de-
crease in the number of internal secondary electrons
that escape to be more rapid than the increase in
generation of internal secondary electrons. Conse-
quently, the observed yield decreases with primary
energy. The yield has a maxi mum value at a primary
energy for which R ~ X~. The resulting energy de-
pendent yield curve is bell shaped, as commonl y
observed on most materials. An exampl e is shown in
Fig. 2 of yield curves taken on a mol ybdenum
2 5 4 A. Shih et al. /Applied SurJace Science I 11 (1997) 251-258
A s i mi l a r qua l i t a t i ve di s c us s i on c a n be ma d e a b o u t
t he va r i a t i on in y i e l d wi t h i nci dent angl e. I f t he
p r i ma r y b e a m is i nci dent at an a ngl e 0 t o t he
s ur f ace, t he ma x i mu m pe ne t r a t i on dept h is r e duc e d
by a f a c t o r c o s 0 r el at i ve t o t hat at n o r ma l i nc i de nc e
( 0 = 0), a s s u mi n g a s t r a i ght - a he a d pat h f or t he pr i -
ma r y b e a m. Co n s e q u e n t l y , t he yi e l ds ar e l ar ger at
mo r e obl i que a ngl e s , and t he e n h a n c e me n t in yi e l d is
mo r e a ppa r e nt at t he hi ghe r p r i ma r y e ne r gi e s f or
whi c h R >> X~. Th e f a mi l y o f yi e l d c u r v e s s hown in
Fi g. 2 wer e t a ke n at va r i ous 0 on a cl ean mo l y b d e -
n u m s a mp l e [12]. E . . . . , t he e n e r g y at whi c h t he
ma x i mu m yi e l d oc c ur s , i nc r e a s e s wi t h 0: E, ..... =
490, 520, 550, 580, a nd 660 e V f or 0 = 0, 2 2 , 5 . 4 0 ,
50, a nd 60 °, r e s pe c t i ve l y. Si nce E,,,~,x oc c ur s at an
e n e r g y f or whi ch R c o s 0 = X~, a l ar ger 0 r es ul t s in a
l a r ge r R. Si nce t he pe ne t r a t i on de pt h R and t he
p r i ma r y e n e r g y E ar e r e l a t e d by Eq. (4), a l ar ger 0
r es ul t s in a l a r ge r Era, x as wel l .
3. Transport of internal secondary electrons
I n gener al , a p r i ma r y el ect r on wi t h a r e a s o n a b l y
hi gh e n e r g y ge ne r a t e s ma n y i nt er nal s e c o n d a r y e l e c -
t r ons. Ho we v e r , hi gh s e c o n d a r y - e l e c t r o n yi e l ds ar e
not a l wa y s o b s e r v e d b e c a u s e mo s t o f t he i nt er nal
s e c o n d a r y e l e c t r ons l os e e n o u g h e n e r g y t hr ough c ol -
l i si ons wi t h e l e c t r ons and i ons t o fal l b e l o w t he
v a c u u m l evel . The e n e r g y - l o s s me c h a n i s ms f or i nt er -
nal s e c o n d a r y e l e c t r ons di f f e r in me t a l s a nd i nsul a-
t or s. In me t a l s , t he s e c o n d a r y e l e c t r ons l os e e n e r g y
by i nt e r a c t i ng wi t h c onduc t i on el ect r ons , l at t i ce vi -
br a t i ons , a nd def ect s . Th e ki net i c e n e r g y o f a s ec-
o n d a r y e l e c t r on mus t be at l east E F + 05 whe n it
r e a c he s t he s ur f a c e in or de r t o e s c a pe . E F and 05 ar e
t he Fe r mi e n e r g y and t he wor k f unc t i on o f t he met al ,
r e s pe c t i ve l y, and t he mi n i mu m e s c a p e e n e r g y E v + 05
i s t ypi c a l l y a b o u t 10 eV. Thi s l ar ge mi n i mu m e s c a p e
e n e r g y and t he hi gh c ol l i s i on p r o b a b i l i t y due t o t he
l ar ge n u mb e r o f c onduc t i on e l e c t r ons r es ul t in t he
s ma l l s e c o n d a r y - e l e c t r o n yi e l ds f o u n d wi t h met al s .
Th e ma x i mu m yi e l d 6r~,~ f or a me t a l is on t he or de r
o f uni t y, a nd it var i es b e t we e n 0. 5 ( f or Li ) and 1.8
( f or Pt ) [6].
In i ns ul at or s , t he mi n i mu m ki net i c e n e r g y f or a
s e c o n d a r y e l e c t r on t o e s c a p e is t he e l e c t r on a f f i ni t y
X, t he di f f e r e nc e b e t we e n t he v a c u u m l evel and t he
c o n d u c t i o n - b a n d mi n i mu m. The el ect r on af f i ni t y is
t ypi c a l l y on t he o r d e r o f an el ect r on vol t f or i nsul a-
t ors. Si nce t her e ar e f e w c onduc t i on e l e c t r ons in
i ns ul at or s , t he s e c o n d a r y e l e c t r ons l os e e n e r g y
t hr ough t he e xc i t a t i on o f va l e nc e e l e c t r ons i nt o t he
c o n d u c t i o n band. Th e wi de ba nd g a p p r e v e n t s s ec-
onda r y e l e c t r ons wi t h ki net i c e n e r g y l ess t han E~,p
f r o m pa r t i c i pa t i ng in such e l e c t r o n - e l e c t r o n col l i -
si ons. For t he s e el ect r ons , e l e c t r o n - p h o n o n a nd e l e c -
t r o n - i mp u r i t y col l i s i ons ar e ma i nl y r e s p o n s i b l e f or
t he e n e r g y l oss. Be c a u s e o f t he a b s e n c e o f e l e c t r on-
el ect r on s cat t er i ng, t he s e c o n d a r y el ect r on l os es mu c h
l ess e n e r g y as it mo v e s t hr ough ma t e r i a l and t he
e s c a p e de pt h b e c o me s l ar ge. Th e r e f o r e , in gener al ,
the yi e l ds ar e hi gh in i ns ul at or s [6]. For e x a mp l e ,
6 ..... is 6. 8 f or NaC1 and 25 f or s i ngl e - c r ys t a l Mg O
Wh e n t he s e c o n d a r y - e l e c t r o n - y i e l d c o e f f i c i e n t e x-
c e e d s one, t he n u mb e r o f e mi t t e d s e c o n d a r y el ec-
t r ons e x c e e d s t he n u mb e r o f a r r i vi ng p r i ma r y el ec-
t r ons. Co n s e q u e n t l y , t her e is a net el ect r on f l ow f r o m
t he e mi t t i ng s a mp l e i nt o v a c u u m, and s o me l evel o f
el ect r i cal c o n d u c t i v i t y is ne c e s s a r y in t he s a mp l e in
o r d e r t o r epl eni s h t he l ost el ect r ons . Ot he r wi s e , s a m-
pl e c h a r g i n g wi l l de c r e a s e t he s e c onda r y e mi s s i o n
yi e l d t o 1. Di f f e r e nt a p p r o a c h e s ha ve be e n us ed in
pr a c t i c e t o p r o v i d e el ect r i cal c onduc t i vi t y. In oxi -
di z e d b e r y l l i u m, onl y a t op 1 0 - 2 0 A t hi c k l a y e r is
c o mp o s e d o f Be O, be ne a t h whi c h me t a l l i c Be s up-
pl i es t he el ect r i cal c onduc t i vi t y. M g O / A u c e r me t is
c o mp o s e d o f a mi xt ur e o f Mg and Au mi c r o - c r y s t a l -
,2 0 [
il 4 . 0 ::"
2 O
0 . 0
0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000
Primary Electron Energy (eV)
Fig. 3. Effect of electrical conductivity on the secondary-electron
yield from diamond.
A. Shih et al./Applied Surface Science 111 (1997) 251-258 255
lites of about 50 ,~ diameter, with the Au particles
providing the conducting path [13]. In diamond,
appropriate dopants are used to provide the neces-
sary electrical conductivity. Fig. 3 compares the
secondary-electron-yield curves from N-doped and
B-doped di amond samples. N is a deep donor in
diamond, and at room temperature N-doped diamond
samples are insulators. Fig. 3 shows that the sec-
ondary-electron yields from the N-doped diamond
are very low. In contrast, B is a shallow acceptor in
diamond, and therefore B-doped diamond samples
are conductive. The three B-doped samples studied
here have electrical resistivities between 50 f~ cm
and 170 k l ) cm, and all three as-received samples
showed comparabl y high yields. The yield curve
taken from one of the samples is shown in Fig. 3.
4. Escape of secondary electrons over the vacuum
barri er
Most of the theories do not explicitly treat the
escape process at the solid-vacuum interface. A phe-
nomenological approach by Bouchard and Carette
[14] found that the potential barrier at a solid-vacuum
interface controls the final shape of the secondary-
electron energy distribution. This model and other
theories do not regard the vacuum-barri er height as
having a strong i mpact on the magnitude of the
yield. For example, Jenkins and Trodden [10] argued
that " mos t of the secondary electrons have energies
greater than 10 eV. For this reason, we should expect
that changes of the order of a volt in the work
function of the surface would have only a small
effect on the secondary emission coeffi ci ent ". Fur-
thermore, they provided experimental evidence of Na
adsorption on W, which reduced the work function
by nearly 3 eV but increased the yield by only 60%.
However, the results of secondary-electron emission
studies on diamond disagree with the conventional
wisdom. We will show below that hydrogen-termina-
tion of diamond lowers the vacuum level by 1.45 eV
but enhances the secondary-electron yield by more
than an order of magnitude.
Recent investigations have found very high sec-
ondary-electron yields from hydrogen-terminated di-
amond samples [15-18]. Malta et al. [18] found a
yield as high as 86 from a (100) diamond surface.
Our study reveals that two of the key reasons for the
ext remel y high secondary-electron yields from H-
terminated diamond surfaces are: (1) the presence of
a wide-band gap in diamond (5.47 eV) which allows
low-energy secondary electrons to have large escape
depths, and (2) a very low or even negative electron
affinity at the surface which permits a large concen-
tration of secondary electrons residing near the bot-
tom of the conduction band to escape. These premi ses
are supported by the analysis of the secondary-elec-
tron-yield data and the secondary-electron-energy-
distribution spectra taken on diamond samples as
presented below.
All of the diamond samples were grown by chem-
ical vapor deposition (CVD) on Si substrates and
then lifted off in a free-standing form. All samples
were acid cleaned to remove surface impurities such
as Si and non-di amond carbon. Most of the diamond
samples that we studied were subjected to a 30-min
hydrogenation process at 20 Tort hydrogen pressure,
600 W mi crowave power, and 800°C sample temper-
ature. Hydrogenat ed diamond samples are H-
terminated [ 19].
Fig. 4 shows an energy distribution curve (EDC)
of the secondary electrons emitted from a H-
terminated diamond sample. The measurement tech-
nique has been discussed in an earlier paper [20].
The energy of the secondary electrons is measured
relative to the Fermi level E F of the sample. The
... \
~ '\ / E c + E g a p
x l O
~ * . . . . . . .
0 5 1 ' 0 " ' 1 ' 5
E N E R G Y ( e V a b o v e E F )
Fig. 4. Secondary-electron EDC of an as-received hydrogenated,
B-doped, diamond sample. The data was taken at a primary
electron energy of 1000 eV. The sharp peak is larger in spectra
taken from samples with a saturated hydrogen coverage or in
spectra taken with higher primary electron energies.
256 A. Shih et al. / Ap p l i e d Surface Science 111 (1997) 251- 258
d i a mo n d s a mp l e us e d i n t he i l l us t r at i on i s a B- d o p e d
s a mpl e , whi c h ha s a F e r mi l evel a b o v e but n e a r t he
v a l e n c e b a n d ma x i mu m E v. The c o n d u c t i o n b a n d
mi n i mu m E c is an e n e r g y Eg,p a b o v e E v, wh e r e
Egap, t he b a n d g a p e n e r g y , is 5. 47 e V f or di a mond.
Th e pos i t i on o f E~ in Fi g. 4 wa s d e t e r mi n e d b y a
me t h o d de s c r i be d p r e v i o u s l y b y Shi h et al. [21].
Ph o t o e mi s s i o n E DCs f r o m d i a mo n d h a v e be e n
s h o wn t o c ont a i n a hi gh c onc e nt r a t i on o f " q u a s i
t h e r ma l i z e d s e c onda r i e s i n t he l o we s t c o n d u c t i o n
b a n d " [22]. Thi s hi gh c onc e nt r a t i on o f l o w- e n e r g y
e l e c t r ons i s al s o p r e s e n t i n t he e l e c t r o n - s t i mu l a t e d
s e c o n d a r y - e l e c t r o n di s t r i but i on f r o m di a mond. Th e y
ar e c a l l e d q u a s i - t h e r ma l i z e d e l e c t r ons b e c a u s e t he
e n e r g y wi dt h, a l t hough n a r r o w ( F WH M > 0. 5 eV) ,
is mu c h l a r ge r t ha n t hat e x p e c t e d f o r f ul l y t he r ma l -
i zed e l e c t r ons ( 0. 025 eV) . Th e s e e l e c t r ons ar e pi l e d
up j us t a b o v e E c as s h o we d in Fi g. 4. Th e y r e p r e s e n t
a l a r ge f r a c t i on o f t he t ot al e mi t t e d s e c o n d a r y e l e c -
t r ons, a nd i n s o me c a s e s o v e r 9 0 % o f t he e mi t t e d
e l e c t r ons ar e c o n t a i n e d i n t he s ha r p pe a k. Wh e n t he
v a c u u m l e ve l f al l s n e a r or b e l o w E~, t he s e e l e c t r ons
c a n e s c a pe , r es ul t i ng in a hi gh s e c o n d a r y - e l e c t r o n
yi el d. Th e v a c u u m l e ve l i s or di na r i l y at t he e n e r g y
wh e r e t he e mi s s i o n ons e t oc c ur s , e x c e p t i n t he c a s e
o f a n e g a t i v e e l e c t r on a f f i ni t y ( NEA) whe n t he va c -
u u m l e ve l c a n be b e l o w t he e mi s s i o n ons e t ener gy•
Fi g. 4 s h o ws t hat t he e mi s s i o n o n s e t o c c u r s b e l o w E~
f o r t he H- t e r mi n a t e d d i a mo n d s a mpl e . Thi s o b s e r v a -
t i on i ndi cat es t he p r e s e n c e o f a NE A on at l eas t par t
o f t he sur f ace•
H- t e r mi n a t i o n o f d i a mo n d i s e s s e nt i a l f or t he l ow
e l e c t r on a f f i ni t y a nd is c o n s e q u e n t l y cr uci al t o t he
hi gh s e c o n d a r y - e l e c t r o n yi el d• I n Fi g. 5, t he s ec-
o n d a r y - e l e c t r o n E DC f r o m a H- t e r mi n a t e d d i a mo n d
s a mp l e i s c o mp a r e d wi t h t hat f r o m t he s a me s a mp l e
a f t e r he a t i ng at 1000°C f o r 15 mi n. Th e he a t i ng is
s uf f i c i e nt t o d e s o r b a l a r ge f r a c t i on o f t he s ur f a c e
h y d r o g e n . Ac c o mp a n y i n g t he h y d r o g e n de s or pt i on,
t he v a c u u m- b a r r i e r he i ght i nc r e a s e s by a b o u t 1.45
e V a nd i s t oo hi gh f or t he q u a s i - t h e r ma l i z e d e l e c -
t r ons t o e s c a pe , r e s ul t i ng in a d i s a p p e a r a n c e o f t he
s ha r p p e a k i n t he EDC. Si mu l t a n e o u s l y , t he s ec-
o n d a r y - e l e c t r o n yi e l d d r o p s pr e c i pi t ous l y. Fi g. 6
s h o ws t he s e c o n d a r y - e l e c t r o n yi e l d c ur ve s t a ke n on
t he s a me s a mp l e b e f o r e a nd a f t e r heat i ng•
Th e ot he r i mp o r t a n t f a c t o r f o r t he l a r ge yi e l d is
t he l a r ge e s c a p e de pt h o f t he l o w- e n e r g y s e c o n d a r y
5 10 15
ENERGY (eV a bov e EF)
Fig. 5. Change in the secondary-electron EDC of a H-terminated,
B-doped, diamond sample after a 1000°C heating. Curve A is the
EDC taken from the H-terminated sample, and curve B is the
EDC taken from the sample after the heating. The 1.45 eV rise in
the vacuum level due to the heating prevents the high-concentra-
tion of low-energy secondary electrons from being emitted.
e l e c t r ons b e c a u s e o f t he a b s e n c e o f e l e c t r o n - e l e c t r o n
s cat t er i ng. Th e ' t u r n - o f f ' o f e l e c t r o n - e l e c t r o n scat -
t er i ng i s d e mo n s t r a t e d in Fi g. 4. I n t he e n l a r g e d pa r t
o f t he EDC, an a b r u p t c h a n g e in t he e mi s s i o n i nt en-
si t y oc c ur s at t he e n e r g y E c + Egap. Be l o w E c + Egap,
o n l y e l e c t r o n - p h o n o n a nd e l e c t r o n - i mp u r i t y s cat t er -
i ngs c a n occur , r e s ul t i ng i n a l a r ge e s c a p e de pt h a nd
r e l a t i ve l y hi gh e mi s s i o n i nt ensi t i es. Ab o v e Ec + Egap,
e l e c t r o n - e l e c t r o n s c a t t e r i ng o c c u r s whi c h r es ul t s in a
s ma l l e s c a p e de pt h a nd a d r o p in t he e mi s s i o n i nt en-
si t y.
o o . , f ~ ' J
~- 40 ~/ " with H-termination
. /
II 30 ~
~ 20
10 ~ after H-desorption
500 I000 1500 2000 2500 3000
Primary Electron E n e r g y (eV)
Fig. 6. A large reduction in the secondary-electron yield from
diamond occurs with hydrogen desorption.
A. Shih et al./Applied Surface Science 111 (1997) 251-258 257
The quasi-thermalized electrons constitute a dom-
inant portion of the secondary electrons emitted from
H-terminated diamond samples. The low kinetic en-
ergy of these electrons may be responsible for the
unusually large escape depth which is revealed by
the unusually high Ema x. Earlier we discussed that
the maximum secondary-electron yield occurs at an
energy for which R = X~. A large X~ means a large
R, which in turn means a high Ema x. Ema x occurs at
about several hundred eV for most metals and at
about 1000-2000 eV for most wide-band-gap mate-
rials [7]. For H-terminated diamond, the yield contin-
ues to rise over the 0 to 3000 eV energy range used
in the measurements (see Fig. 6).
B impurities are introduced in the CVD diamond
samples to provide the required electrical conductiv-
ity. Since el ect ron-phonon and el ect ron-i mpuri t y
scatterings are the main energy-loss mechanisms for
the low-energy secondary electrons, an excessively
high impurity concentration may reduce the escape
depth and the yield. Fig. 7 compares the yield curves
taken on diamond samples with different B-doping
levels. The higher yield curves are typical for low or
moderately B-doped diamond samples which have a
resistivity between 50- 170 k12 cm and are transpar-
ent. The lower yield curve is taken from the highly
B-doped sample which appears black and opaque
and has a resistivity between 50- 170 l-I cm. We
have not studied any sample with a resistivity be-
tween 170 ~ cm and 50 k f~ cm.
o 5 0
4 0
~ J H i g h B concentration
I I 3 o / ~ -
c o 2 0
°0 . . . . 5 0 0 " " ' ; O ' O d " ;5'00' " 2 0 ' 0 O ' ' 2 5 O O ' 30'00
Primaw Electron Energy (eV)
Fig. 7. Effect of the B impurity level on the secondary-electron
yield from diamond.
5. Summary
Secondary-electron-emission processes have been
discussed using a three-step process: (1) generation
of internal secondary electrons during the slow-down
of primary electrons, (2) transport of the internal
secondary electrons through the material, and (3) the
final escape of the electrons over the vacuum barrier.
A consideration of the penetration depth of the pri-
mary electrons and its relation to the escape depth of
the internal secondary electrons explains the depen-
dence of the secondary-electron yield on the energy
and the incident angle of the primary electrons. An
examination of the scattering events experienced by
the internal secondary electrons explains the differ-
ence in yield found for a metal and an insulator. The
presence of a wide band gap allows a large escape
depth for the low-energy secondary electrons, but it
also depletes the number of conduction electrons
available to sustain the emission process. Examples
of measures employed to supply electrical conductiv-
ity were given.
Diamond provides an opportunity to explore a
possible novel secondary-electron-emission process;
the novel characteristics are manifested by the dis-
tinctive sharp feature in the secondary-electron EDC
and by the exceedingly high yields. The final step,
which involves the overcome of the vacuum barrier,
was previously considered to play only a minor role
in the secondary-emission process. However, a high
concentration of quasi-thermalized secondary elec-
trons is present above the conduction-band minimum
of diamond. Hydrogen-termination on diamond sur-
faces lowers the vacuum barrier height to near or
below the conduction-band minimum which releases
a flood of low-energy secondary electrons and boosts
the total yield tremendously. The low electron affin-
ity at the surface and the large escape depth of the
secondary electrons are responsible for the extraordi-
narily high secondary-electron yields from H-
terminated diamond samples.
The potentially rapid degradation in the yield
from H-terminated diamond due to electron and ion
impingement prevents the wide application of dia-
mond in actual devices [16]. However, the knowl-
edge gained from the secondary emission study of
diamond points to the possibility of using other high
258 A. Shih et al. / Applied Surface Science 111 (1997) 251-258
secondary-yield materials, namely wide band-gap
materials with low electron affinities.
The diamond samples studied were supplied by
Drs. P. Pehrsson and J. Butler of the NRL Chemistry
division. This work is supported in part by
NSWC/Crane Division and in part by the Vacuum
Electronics Initiative.
Re f e r e n c e s
[1] D. Chernin and Y.Y. Lau, ed., Proc. of the First Int. Work-
shop on Crossed-Field Devices, August 15-16, 1995, Ann
Arbor, Michigan.
[2] T.E. Ruden, G.E. Dombroski, D. Hobbs and G. Boles, Proc.
of the First Int. Workshop on Crossed-Field Devices (1995)
[3] G. Ya. Levin, L.A. Semenov, A. Ya Usikov, Yu.A. Belov,
Sov. J. Comm. Tech. Elect. 37 (1992) 128.
[4] J.Z. Ye, R. MacGregor, C. Chan and T.E. Ruden, Proc. of
the First Int. Workshop on Crossed-Field Devices (1995)
[5] H.L. McDowell, Proc. of the First Int. Workshop on
Crossed-Field Devices (1995) 236.
[6] A.J. Dekker, in: Solid State Physics, Advances in Research
and Applications, eds. F. Seitz and D. Turnbull (Academic
Press, New York, 1958) p. 251.
[7] O. Hachenberg and W. Brauer, in: ed. L. Marton, Advances
in Electronics and Electron Physics (Academic Press, New
York, 1959) p. 413.
[8] J. Devooght, A, Dubus and J.C. Dehaes, Phys. Rev. B 36
(1987) 5093.
[9] A. Dubus, J. Devooght and J.C. Dehaes, Phys. Rev. B 36
(1987) 5110.
[10] R.O. Jenkins and W.G. Trodden, Electron and Ion Emission
(Dover, New York, 1965) p. 54.
[11] J.R. Young, Phys. Rev 103 (1956)292.
[12] A. Shih and C. Hor, IEEE Trans. Elect. Devices 40 (1993)
[13] V.H. Ritz, A. Shih and B. Sobocinski, Surf. Interface Anal.
18 (1992) 514.
[14] C. Bouchard and J.D. Carette, Surf. Sci. 100 (1980) 251.
[15] G.T. Mearini, I.L. Krainsky, Y.X. Wang, J.A. Dayton, Jr., R.
Ramesham and M.F. Rose, Thin Solid Films 253 (1994) 151.
[16] G.T. Mearini, I.L. Krainsky and J.A. Dayton, Jr., Surf. Int.
Anal. 21 (1994) 138.
[17] D.P. Malta, J.B. Posthill, T.P. Humphreys, R.E. Thomas,
G.G. Fountain, R.A. Rudder, G.C. Hudson, M.J. Mantini and
R.J. Markunas, Mat. Res. Soc. Syrup. Proc. 339 (1994) 39.
[18] D.P. Malta, J.B. Posthill, T.P. Humphreys, M.J. Mantini and
R.J. Markunas, Mat. Res. Soc. Syrup. Proc. 416 (1996) 311.
[19] B.D.Thoms, P.E. Pehrsson and J.E. Butler, J. Appl. Phys. 75
(3) 1804 (1994).
[20] A. Shih, J. Yater, C. Hor and R. Abrams, IEEE Trans. Elect.
Devices 41 (1994) 2448.
[21] A. Shih, J. Yater, P. Pehrsson, J. Butler, C. Hor and R.
Abrams, Mat. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc. 416 (1996) 461.
[22] F.J. Himpsel, J.A. Knapp, J.A. Van Vechten and D.E. East-
man, Phys. Rev. B 20 (2) (1979) 624.
European Laboratory for Particle Physics
V. Baglin, I. Collins, B. Henrist, N. Hilleret and G. Vorlaufer
The secondary electron emission of surfaces exposed to the impact of energetic electrons contributes
significantly to the electron cloud build-up. For the prediction of the consequences of this effect the
measurements of the secondary electron yield carried out at CERN are an important source of
information. New experimental results concerning the total secondary electron yield for very low
primary electron energy (between 5 eV and 50 eV) will be also given in the case of as received copper.
Furthermore the energy distribution of the re-emitted electrons is drastically influenced by the primary
electron energy. The ratio of the number of reflected electrons to the total number of re-emitted electrons
has been measured and its variation with the primary electron energy will be shown. As a consequence
of these new experimental data, a numerical approximation to express the secondary electron yield as a
function of the primary electron energy will be given for the low incident electron energy region
(E<50eV). It has been shown that the decrease of the secondary electron yield due to the electron
bombardment could reduce sufficiently the consequences electron cloud effect. To understand further
the origin of this decrease, the results of experiments showing the variation of the electron induced
desorption yield with the incident electron dose will be compared to the concomitant reduction of the
secondary electron yield.
Large Hadron Collider Project
Administrative Secretariat
LHC Division
CH - 1211 Geneva 23
LHC Project Report 472
24 June 2002

The measurements of the secondary electron yield versus electron energy have been carried out
in two separate systems described previously
. They consist in an electron gun delivering a
focused primary electron beam of energy variable between 45 and 3000 eV. This beam hits the
surface of the sample under normal incidence at a circular spot (approximately 3 mm diameter). A
conical cage, coaxial to the primary beam, collects the secondary electrons. The deflection plates
and lens of the electron gun are driven by a computer program which optimises their settings on a
dummy sample to maximise the transmitted primary current. For the measurements short pulses
(30 ms) of low intensity (some nA) are used to reduce the electron dose received by the sample
(10 nC/mm2 for a complete energy scan). The vacuum system is bakeable and is evacuated by a
turbomolecular pump. After bake out the pressure reached in the system is in the low 10
the second system used was based on the same principle as the laboratory system, the
measurement procedure (beam optimisation, current pulses and data handling) was identical.
Figure 1: Variation of the average secondary electron yield versus electron energy for 25 as received
copper samples
For the energy measurements, a 4 grids hemispherical energy analyser has been used. Its
energy resolution is limited to some eV and the energies given do not take into account any
correction of contact potential between the filament gun and the sample. The dose effect was
studied using various procedures. Initially (1978) the electron dose was delivered to the sample
using the measurement gun. The yield was continuously measured at the bombardment energy.
Because of the rapid destruction of the expensive gun filament, this method was abandoned and a
rustic flood gun was added to the laboratory system allowing to irradiate completely the sample
0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000
Ene rg y ( e V)

surface. In EPA the electron dose was accumulated by biasing the sample to a variable positive
voltage that attracted the photoelectrons created by the synchrotron light.
A change in the bias voltage modifies the mean energy of the incident electrons as well as their
amount. As the sample bias voltage changes the collection efficiency of the sample, the photon dose
needed to condition the sample are not directly comparable when the sample bias is modified. The
dose is determined by integrating the current collected on the sample. The main difference between
these two methods to accumulate the dose is that in EPA any artefact linked to the presence of a hot
filament for the production of the impinging electron has been eliminated.
Figure 2: Variation of the average secondary electron yield versus electron energy for copper samples
and energies lower than 30 eV
Figure 1 shows the mean secondary electron yield (S.E.Y.) measured on 25 as received copper
samples cleaned following the LHC recipe. The average maximum is 2.06 (σ = 0.16) for an energy
of 271 eV (σ = 25). The bars are used to display the spread between the minimum and maximum
S.E.Y. at each energy for these 25 samples. The low energy part of the δ (E) curves was measured
recently and is displayed in Figure 2 for various electron doses (cf. next section). The two curves
labelled 23/03 AR and 31/01 AR show the SEY as a function of the energy for electron energies
between 4 eV and 30 eV. The SEY at 4 eV lies between 0.6 and 0.8. Below 10 eV the as received
curves tend to indicate a constant value of the SEY, independent of the electron energy.
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
Ene rg y ( e V)
23-01-01/ A.R.
31-01-01/ A.R.
23-03-01 / 5.6 e-4
31-01-01/ 5.6 e-4
31-01-01/ 1.01 e-2
23-03-01 / 9.6 e-3

The variation of the SEY with the electron dose is an effect leading, when not properly taken
into account, to underestimated secondary electron yield. This brought us to modify the
experimental set up and procedure in order to decrease as much as possible the electron dose
received by the sample during the measurements
. In Chamonix X
it was proposed to take profit
of this effect to obtain the decrease of the copper SEY necessary to operate LHC without “electron
cloud effect”.
Figure 3: The variation of the secondary electron yield with the incident electron dose
In Figure 3, the variation of the SEY of as received copper is plotted against the incident
electron dose for various measurements made using various procedures and under various
experimental conditions:
• The curve noted electron gun was obtained in 1979 using an electron gun on a copper
sample. It gives the SEY of copper at 500 eV energy versus the electron dose. The
impinging electrons had an energy of 500 eV. The area irradiated by the beam was a circle
of approximately 2 mm diameter.
• The curve note “delta max EPA” gives the variation of the maximum SEY against the dose
of electron collected with a bias of 99 V (i.e. 99 eV impinging electron energy).
• The 2 curves noted ‘delta max 23-03” and “delta max 31-01” were obtained this year using
a flood gun irradiating the whole sample with an electron energy of 500 eV.
These curves show that an electron dose between 8x 10
and 2x 10
is necessary to
reach a SEY lower than 1.3. The minimum of the SEY (close to 1.1) is obtained for an electron
dose close to 10
(fully conditioned sample).
1.E-08 1.E-07 1.E-06 1.E-05 1.E-04 1.E-03 1.E-02
Dose ( C / mm2)
ELECTRON GUN measured at 500 eV

In Figure 2 the low energy part of the two later curves (23-03 and 31-01) are also shown. The
reproducibility is very good, the SEY are continuously decreasing below 10 eV and are close to 0.2
at an energy of 4 eV.
The preceding measurements have shown the peculiar behaviour of the SEY as the primary
electron energy decreases. These peculiarities could be related to the change in the shape of the
secondary electron energy distribution. This distribution was studied using a 4 grids hemispherical
energy analyser. The energy axis is shifted by an unknown amount (< 3eV) due to the unknown
contact potential between the filament and the sample. It must be emphasised that, because of the
large amount of incident electrons needed for this type of measurement, the data presented here are
related to a copper close to the “conditioned state”.
Figure 4: Variation of the secondary electron yield versus the primary electron energy for 6 fully
conditioned (10
) copper
In Figure 5 the energy distribution of secondary electrons emitted by a copper sample are
shown using two normalised axis: the abscissae are normalised to 1 at the incident electron energy,
the ordinates are normalised to 1000 for the maximum emitted intensity. On this graph the
increased importance of the reflected electrons at low primary electron energy is striking when the
curves measured at 10 eV and 550 eV are compared. A second fact, also reported in the literature
is illustrated in Figure 6 which shows a slight shift towards lower energy in the position of the
“true” secondary electron peak when the incident electron energy is raised.
0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000
ENERG Y ( e V)
EPA 99 eV
EPA 800 eV
EPA 350 eV
LAB GUN 500 eV

The “true”secondary electron peak is found around an energy of 2 eV. Using the data partially
presented in Figure 5 the ratio between the number of reflected electrons and the total number of
emitted electrons has been calculated for the five energies considered (10, 30, 100, 300, 550 eV).
This ratio is given in Figure 7 as a function of the primary electron energy.
Usual expressions given by M. Furman
or J.J. Scholtz
can be used to numerically express the
variation of the true secondary electron yield δ
with the primary electron energy (E
). Both
formulae give good fits to the measured curves for a given energy range. The simple expression
given by M. Furman produces a reasonable fit in the low primary energy part (E
< 1000 eV) which
is the most interesting for LHC. In the low energy region (<100 eV) the importance of the reflected
electrons becomes more important as it can be deduced from Figure 5. For this reason the fit
formula proposed here uses the Furman formula corrected for the contribution of reflected
electrons. The reflected electron contribution has been assessed from the previously shown
experimental data on the secondary electron energy distribution for copper. Furman’s relation for
the true secondary electron yield is:
= δ
s × (
s −1 +


, s and E
are 3 parameters used to obtain the best fit to the experimental.
Figure 5: Normalised secondary electron energy distribution for conditioned copper

0.00 0.20 0.40 0.60 0.80 1.00
Ep= 10 eV
Ep=30 eV
Ep= 100 eV
Ep=300 eV
Ep=550 eV

Figure 6: Secondary electron energy distribution for copper ( below 10 eV)

Figure 7: The ratio between the reflected and the total number of re-emitted electrons in the case
of copper
0 2 4 6 8 10
Ep= 10 eV
Ep=30 eV
Ep= 100 eV
Ep=300 eV
Ep=550 eV
E max 550
Emax 10
0 100 200 300 400 500 600

The numerical value used to fit the experimental data presented in Figure 1 are given in
Table 1.

Table 1: Fit parameters for the true secondary yield (M.Furman formula)

2.03 1.13
262 318
s 1.39 1.35

To introduce the correction due to the reflected electrons two approximations could be made
depending on the accuracy needed. Of course as it appears in Figure 7, the correction for reflected
electrons is only significant at energy lower than 300 eV and amounts to more than 10% for
energies below 100 eV. A relation
allows to fit the experimental curve given in Figure 7:
ln( f ) = A
+ A
× (ln(E
+ E
)) + A
× (ln(E
+ E
+ A
× (ln(E
+ E

To obtain the best fit in the low energy part (below 300 eV), the following constants
has been used:
= 20.699890, A
= -7.07605, A
= 0.483547, A
= 0, E
(Curve labelled FIT II low energy).
For use up to higher primary electron energy (2000 eV), the following coefficients
should be used:
= 0.300207076, A
= 0.044915014, A
= -0.155498672, A
= 9.50318 x 10
, E
(Curve labelled FIT II)
A simplified exponential relation of the form:
f = R
× exp(−E
/ w)
can also be used below 100 eV using the following numerical constants:
= .64438713, w=43.2268304. (Curve labelled EXP FIT)
The accuracy of the various approximations can be appreciated from Figure 7.
The various formulae used to account for the reflected electron contribution at low energy
combined with Furman’s formula have been checked against the measured value of the total
secondary electron yield (δ
) in the two cases of as received copper and fully conditioned copper
(dose = 10
). To calculate δ
, the following formula was considered:

+ δ
= f ×δ
= δ
+ f ×δ

Hence: δ
= δ
1 − f ( )

The results of the two fits are compared to the experimental results on the two Figures 8 (as
received case) and 9 (fully conditioned case). In both cases the agreement with the measured
secondary electron yield is good between 1000 and 100 eV incident energy. For energies greater
than 300 eV, the contribution of the reflected electrons can be neglected and M. Furman formula
used without correction. The low energy part (E
< 100 eV) of the two graphs 8 and 9 is expanded
on the two graphs 10 and 11 to compare the results of the two fitting formulae to the experimental
results. Above 20 eV incident energy, both formulae give the same results. Below 20 eV (i.e. when
the reflected contribution accounts for more than 25% of the total number of secondary electrons)
the exponential fit gives increasingly underestimated value.

Figure 8: The numerical expressions for the various contributions to the secondary electron yield
compared to the experimental measurements in the case of as received copper.

Figure 9: The numerical expressions for the various contributions to the secondary electron yield
compared to the experimental measurements in the case of fully conditioned copper
0 200 400 600 800 1000
ENERG Y ( e V)
C U EXPO SED TO 0.01 C / mm2
0 200 400 600 800 1000
ENERG Y ( e V)

Figure 10: The numerical expressions for the various contributions to the secondary electron yield
compared to the experimental measurements in the case of as received copper (Ep < 100 eV)
Figure 11: The numerical expressions for the various contributions to the secondary electron yield
compared to the experimental measurements in the case of fully conditioned copper (Ep < 100 eV)

0 20 40 60 80 100
ENERG Y ( e V)
C U EXPO SED TO 0.01 C / mm2
0 20 40 60 80 100
ENERG Y ( e V)

Measurements of the secondary electron yield of as received copper have been published in
. They are compared to the results obtained at CERN for as received copper in
Figure 12. The agreement between CERN measurement and Hopman measurements is good. The
measurements made at SLAC gives a maximum secondary electron yield, which is significantly
smaller than those obtained in the two other labs. The different measurements obtained for a
primary electron energy in the vicinity of 1000 eV are close to each other.
A dose dependence curve has also been given in reference
. This curve is compared with a
typical curve obtained at CERN in Figure 13. As noticed in Figure 12, the initial yield is much
smaller than what is measured at CERN and the yield decrease proceeds at a slower rate. The fully
conditioned state was apparently not obtained in that reference
Figure 12: The variation of the secondary electron yield versus the primary electron energy as
obtained in three different laboratories
0 1000 2000 3000 4000
ENERG Y ( e V)

Figure 13: Comparison of the dose dependence of the secondary electron yield as measured at CERN
and at SLAC
During the electron bombardment of a surface, leading to the above mentioned decrease of the
secondary electron yield, a significant decrease of the electron induced desorption yield is also
. The desorption yields data, obtained in a separate system, on an as-received copper
sample, are presented together with the data concerning the secondary electron yield in Figure 14 as
a function of the number of electrons impinging per unit area. To allow a better comparison, both
data are normalised to 1 in the initial non-bombarded state. These data allow the calculation of the
amount of gas released during the conditioning of a copper surface by integrating the product of the
desorption yield and the electron dose.
Table 2: Total number of molecules released per unit area during processing for the main desorbed
) 6x10

Figure 15 shows as a function of the total number of molecules released per unit surface area,
the secondary electron yield ratio and the desorption yield ratio for three molecular species. These
were chosen (for the sake of clarity) to represent the main desorbed gases of the two types:
hydrogen and carbon containing gases, (H
CO and C
1.E-09 1.E-07 1.E-05 1.E-03 1.E-01
DO SE ( C / mm2)
B. HENRIST CERN 31/ 01/ 01

Figure 14: The variation of the normalised desorption and secondary electron yields with the electron
These data show that the reduction of both the secondary electron yield and the desorption
yield are two processes evolving in parallel during the irradiation of a surface by electrons. The
upper limit of the total number (the mantissa being rounded to the next integer) of molecules
released during the conditioning of a copper surface is given in Table 2 for the main desorbed
gases. Hydrogen is the main released gas, its predominance is established during the initial part of
the conditioning when desorption yields are the highest and hydrogen the most abundant species,
carbon monoxyde and dioxyde come in second position. These results are in good agreement with
those concerning desorption yields published in the reference
.The total number of molecules
removed from an as-received copper surface during its conditioning is smaller than 10
per cm
i.e. less than 100 monolayers. The number of molecules released per unit surface area
during the conditioning process is given in Figure 16 as a function of the final secondary electron
yield achieved. Although both the desorption yield and the secondary electron yield evolve in
parallel under electron bombardment, it should not be concluded that the cleaning of the surface is
the origin of the decrease of the secondary electron yield. For example a clean copper surface (e.g.
in situ glow discharge cleaned) has a secondary electron yield higher than a conditioned surface
(see Figure 4, curve labelled: “Argon G.D. Copper”).
1E+12 1E+14 1E+16 1E+18 1E+20
/ c m2)




Figure 15: The normalised desorption and secondary electron yields as a function of the total number
of desorbed molecules
Figure 16: The quantity of desorbed molecules per unit area as a function of the final secondary
electron yield
1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2.0 2.2 2.4
H2-23/ 03
CO-23/ 03
CO2-23/ 03
CH4-23/ 03
C2H6-23/ 03
H2O-23/ 03
TOT-23/ 03
T0T-31/ 01
1E+12 1E+13 1E+14 1E+15 1E+16 1E+17
AREA ( mol/ c m
- 2




The conditioning of as received copper surfaces has been studied in various experimental set-
ups and coherent results have proved its efficiency to reduce the secondary electron yield. Based on
measurements of the secondary electron energy distribution, a numerical expression has been given
which allows to calculate the fraction of reflected electrons with a good agreement to the
experimental data between 4 and 500 eV. The Furman’s expression has been used and the relevant
parameters are given to calculate the true secondary electron yield as a function of the primary
electron energy. Combining both formulae permits to compute the total number of electrons emitted
when the energy of the incident electrons is given. Using data obtained for electron induced
desorption it has been shown that the quantity of molecules removed from a surface during
processing is smaller than 10
. Using these data, it is now possible to better
estimate the amount of gas released during the beginning of the LHC operation when multipacting
can occur because of the electron cloud effect. Although the phenomenon of conditioning has been
obtained reproducibly on many samples, in different experimental set-ups, the exact mechanism
leading to this effect is not properly understood. This is of course not a comfortable situation as the
LHC operation at nominal intensity relies on this effect. Further studies are going on to try to
elucidate the main physical parameters responsible for this beneficial effect.

V. Baglin, B. Henrist, N. Hilleret, E. Mercier, C. Scheuerlein: Proceedings of the X workshop on LEP-SPS
performance Chamonix , 130, 2000.
V. Baglin, J. Bojko, O. Gröbner, B. Henrist, N. Hilleret, C. Scheuerlein, M. Taborelli: 7
Europen Accelerator
Conference, Vienna, 217-220, 2000.
V. Baglin, I.R. Collins, O. Gröbner, C. Grünhagel, B. Henrist, N. Hilleret, B. Jenninger: Proceedings of the
XI workshop on LEP-SPS performance Chamonix , 141, 2001.
G. Arnolds-Mayer, N. Hilleret: Advances in Cryogenic Engineering Materials, 28, 611-621, 1982
R. Bindi, H. Lanteri, P. Rostaing, J. Phys. D: Appl.Phys. 13,267, 1980.
M. A. Furman, CERN LHC Project Report 180, 1998.
J.J. Scholtz, D. Dijkkamp, R.W.A. Schmitz, Philips J. Res. 50, 375-389, 1996.
R. E. Kirby, F. K. King SLAC-PUB-8212, 2000.
H.J. Hopman, J. Verhoeven: Applied Surface Science, 150, 1-7, 1999.
F. le Pimpec: Thèse Université de Paris VI, 2000.
J. Gomez-Goni, A.G. Mathewson, J. Vac. Sci.Technol. A 15, 6, 3093-3103, 1997
Secondary electron emission from magnesium oxide on multiwalled
carbon nanotubes
Won Seok Kim
BK21 Physics Division and Center for Nanotubes and Nanostructured Composites, Sungkyunkwan
University, Suwon 440-746, Korea
Whikun Yi, SeGi Yu, Jungna Heo, Taewon Jeong, Jeonghee Lee, Chang Soo Lee,
and J. M. Kim
NCRI, Center for Electron Emission Source, Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, P.O. Box 111,
Suwon 440-600, Korea
Hee Jin Jeong, Young Min Shin, and Young Hee Lee
Department of Physics and Center for Nanotubes and Nanostructured Composites, Sungkyunkwan
University, Suwon 440-746, Korea
͑Received 22 March 2002; accepted for publication 10 June 2002͒
We have investigated effects of electric fields on the yield of secondary electron emission ͑SEE͒
from the primary electron bombardment on magnesium oxide ͑MgO͒ covering vertically grown
multiwalled carbon nanotubes ͑MWCNTs͒. We observe that the yield of SEE increases up to at least
22 000 at a special condition. The strong local field generated by the sharp tip of vertically grown
MWCNTs accelerates secondary electrons generated by primary electrons. This eventually gives
rise to so called Townsend avalanche effect, generating huge number of secondary electrons in a
MgO film. Emission mechanism for such a high SEE will be further discussed with energy spectrum
analysis. © 2002 American Institute of Physics. ͓DOI: 10.1063/1.1498492͔
Secondary electron emission ͑SEE͒ with bombardment
of primary electrons plays an important role in vacuum de-
vices. For instance, electron multiplier, microchannel plate,
and electron gun require the SEE materials with a high am-
plification yield. In general, insulators are good candidates
for high SEE. The secondary electrons generated by the pri-
mary electrons in a magnesium oxide ͑MgO͒ film move to
the surface with relatively weak electron–electron scatter-
ings due to the absence of free electrons in insulator, and
finally escape from the surface if they have enough energy to
overcome the work function of the materials.
Single crystal
MgO, for instance, has a SEE yield of about 25 at best.
the other hand, the porous MgO produces high SEE yield of
about 1000 under the high electric field.
However, for a
given yield, it is always desirable to look for the condition in
which the lowest field is used. Recently a MgO film was
deposited on randomly oriented carbon nanotube ͑CNT͒
powder, where relatively large SEE of maximum 15 000 at a
backbias of 1400 V was obtained.
Yet the SEE obtained was
strongly dependent on the sample positions and not repro-
ducible either. In this report, we introduce a systematic ap-
proach to reproduce high SEE using MgO on vertically
grown multiwalled carbon nanotubes ͑MWCNTs͒. We ob-
served an unusually high SEE yield of greater than 22 000
͑beyond the limit of a detector͒ at a backbias of 850 V, which
was strongly related to the MgO film thickness.
MWCNTs were grown by thermal chemical vapor depo-
sition on the Ni-coated Si substrate using a C
gas at
650 °C.
The average diameter and length of the grown
CNTs were 300 Å and 20 ␮m, respectively. A MgO thin film
was deposited on the vertically grown MWCNTs using elec-
tron beam deposition. Figure 1͑a͒ shows the scanning elec-
tron microscope ͑SEM͒ image of MgO-coated MWCNTs,
where CNTs are encapsulated by MgO only on the top area.
The inset shows a typical transmission electron microscope
͑TEM͒ image, where the thickness of MgO film at the side-
wall is about 50–300 Å and the thickness at top of the CNT
tip about 500–2000 Å, although the nominal thickness of
MgO film from an electron-beam evaporator was 3000 Å.
This suggests that relatively small amount of MgO was de-
posited on CNTs compared to the thin film on a flat surface.
Figure 1͑b͒ shows a schematic diagram of our apparatus
setup to measure the SEE. The MgO-coated CNT films were
bombarded by the primary electrons (I
) which generates the
secondary electrons (I
) in the MgO film. The I
was mea-
sured by applying a positive bias of 200 V to the sample
holder in order to avoid the leakage current to the chamber
wall. The I
was fixed at 233 nA during the experiment,
while its kinetic energy was varied. The yield of secondary
electron emission ͑␦͒ is then defined as I
, where I
can be measured by the Faraday cup.
In practice, I
can be easily obtained by measuring I
and I
͑the current supplied from the substrate͒, instead. The nega-
tive backbias to the sample decelerates the incident primary
electrons, while accelerating the secondary electrons to es-
cape from the surface. In case of no primary electron, no
secondary electrons are generated. Note that the electric field
generated by the negative backbias is small such that no field
emission currents are observed. The charge replenishment is
achieved by the current through the sample from the I
Figure 2͑a͒ shows the yield as a function of net primary
electron energy (⌬E), which is defined by the energy differ-
ence E
, where E
and V
are primary electron energy

Author to whom correspondence should be addressed: electronic mail:
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and the negative bias applied to the substrate, respectively.
The nominal MgO thickness was 3000 Å. The yield is rela-
tively small for low E
over the whole range of ⌬E up to
900 eV, whereas this value shows an abrupt increase near
⌬E of 250 eV for the E
of 1000 eV. The existence of the
threshold voltage suggests that the SEE mechanism may be
related to an avalanche effect.
With further increase of the
the yield was too large to measure by our multimeter
whose maximum current is limited to 5 mA. The yield does
not increase with low ⌬E and the maximum peak is ob-
served near 200 eV. We measured the SEE by varying the
thickness of the MgO film. Figure 2͑b͒ shows the yield as a
function of time with different nominal MgO film thick-
nesses at fixed E
of 1100 eV. The yield becomes stabilized
after long measurement time. The very thin film of 1000 Å
gives a low yield. The MgO film with a nominal thickness of
3000 Å gives rise to a maximum yield of 22 000, which is
beyond the detection limit of our multimeter. The SEE yield
drops at larger MgO thickness. This may indicate the exis-
tence of an optimum penetration depth. The TEM image, as
shown in the inset of Fig. 1͑a͒, shows the actual thickness of
the MgO film of about 500–2000 Å on the top of the CNT.
In general, the maximum yield is obtained when the penetra-
tion depth is about five times the escape depth in insulator.
The escape depth of MgO is known as 60–200 Å,
implies the penetration depth of the MgO film to be 300–
1000 Å. This is in good agreement with our observations of
the TEM image. We emphasize that the MgO film without
CNTs gives the yield of up to 800 at best at very high E
1500 eV and the CNTs without a MgO film gives a yield of
less than one. Figure 2͑c͒ shows the yield as a function of the
backbias for fixed net E
. The yield increases abruptly with
increasing the backbias, indicating again an avalanche effect.
The values of on-set backbias are large at low and large net
. The minimum on-set backbias exists at net E
of 250 eV.
We next measured kinetic energies of the emitted sec-
ondary electrons by an electron energy analyzer ͑VG Sci-
ence, Clam IV͒. Figure 3͑a͒ shows the distribution of the
kinetic energy of the secondary electrons in terms of three
different backbiases at fixed E
of 1000 eV. The small peak
at 1000 eV, independent of the backbias, indicated by K
results from the elastic backscatterings of the primary elec-
FIG. 1. ͑a͒ The SEM image of MWCNTs covered with a MgO film. ͑b͒ The
schematic diagram for SEE experimental setup.
FIG. 2. ͑a͒ The yield for three different primary electron energies as a
function of the net primary electron energy. ͑b͒ The yield as a function of
measuring time with different nominal MgO film thicknesses at a fixed
primary electron energy of 1100 eV and the backbias of Ϫ850 eV, and ͑c͒
the yield as a function of the backbias for various net primary electron
1099 Appl. Phys. Lett., Vol. 81, No. 6, 5 August 2002 Kim et al.
Downloaded 30 Jul 2002 to Redistribution subject to AIP license or copyright, see
trons. The electrons generated at the MgO surface (K
) at a
backbias of Ϫ800 V are negligible within kinetic energies of
800–1000 eV. The secondary electrons start emitting from
below 800 eV, where the sharp peak (K
) at 800 eV is at-
tributed to the field emission. The broad peak (K
) from 320
to 800 eV is considered to originate from the SEE that are
generated through the whole MgO film layer. This trend of
broad energy distribution is very similar for other backbiases
except the position of the on-set kinetic energy (K
) at
around 320 eV. The voltage drop across the MgO film is
shown in the diagram of Fig. 3͑b͒. Although the backbias of,
for instance, Ϫ800 V is applied between the chamber wall
and the substrate, it is only Ϫ480 V that is applied across the
MgO film with a voltage drop of 320 V between the chamber
wall and the MgO surface. The position of the on-set kinetic
energy is dependent on the geometry, i.e., the separation dis-
tance between the MgO surface and the chamber wall.
In general, the electric field within MgO is considered to
be small, since the dielectric constant of MgO (␧ϭ9.8␧
) is
about ten times larger than that of vacuum. However, the
electric field of MgO in this experiment may be enhanced
under the bombardment of primary electrons due to the es-
cape of secondary electrons of the surface from MgO. We
now estimate the strength of the electric field across the MgO
film. For instance, at a backbias of Ϫ800 V, large secondary
electrons are obtained as shown in Fig. 2͑a͒. The potential
drop across MgO film is considered to be about 500 V, i.e.,
corresponding to the voltage difference between K
and K
in Fig. 3͑a͒. The average field strength is 500 V/d
(500–2000 Å)ϭ(2.5–10)ϫ10
V/cm, where the thickness
͑d͒ of the MgO film on top of the CNT was measured from
the TEM image. This value is the same order of magnitude
of the field strength corresponding to the on-set field of ava-
lanche effect in typical metal oxides. This field may launch
the cascade emission of secondary electrons, but still cannot
explain such a high amplification factor. Thus, a higher back-
bias is required to ensure the avalanche effect in an MgO
insulator. We note that without CNTs such a high amplifica-
tion factor could not be observed. This proves that the small
diameter of CNTs enhances the local field strength near the
tip of nanotubes, since the typical diameter of MWCNTs is
about 100–300 Å. The field enhancement factor from a CNT
film is usually an order of 10
and the field enhancement
factor of a MgO coated CNT film was found to be 700–
1200, from the I –V curve of the field emission experiment.
Therefore, the local field near the tip can be enhanced by a
factor of 10
. This high local field will accelerate the primary
electrons arrived near the tip and generate a cascade emis-
sion of secondary electrons. This process results in the
charge depletion on the MgO surface and induces an addition
local field across the MgO film.
The charge depletion was
replenished by the I
. In order to have avalanche phenom-
enon to occur, the primary electrons should reach the MgO
film near the nanotube tip and therefore optimum net energy
for the primary electrons is expected, as observed from our
results. Our data were fully reproducible with repetition of
the measurements. The variance of the SEE yield over the
entire sample was within 10%.
In summary, we have investigated the yield of SEE from
MgO/MWNTs. The SEE yield was measured for various
MgO film thicknesses, primary electron energies, and back-
biases. The SEE yield was achieved to be much greater than
22 000. The electron energy analysis revealed that this high
yield originates from an avalanche phenomenon due to the
strong local field generated by the sharp CNT tip. We em-
phasize that this high SEE is obtainable over the sample with
good reproducibility. We expect our approach to be applied
for various vacuum electronic devices.
This work was supported by the KOSEF through CNNC
at SKKU and MOST through NRL and CRI ͑J.M.K.͒.
A. Shih, J. Yates, C. Hor, and R. Abrams, Appl. Surf. Sci. 111, 251 ͑1997͒.
A. J. Dekker, Solid State Phys. 6, 251 ͑1958͒.
H. Jacobs, J. Freely, and F. A. Brand, Phys. Rev. 88, 492 ͑1952͒.
W. K. Yi, S. Yu, W. T. Lee, I. T. Han, T. W. Jeong, Y. S. Woo, J. H. Lee,
S. H. Jin, W. B. Choi, J. N. Heo, D. R. Jeon, and J. M. Kim, J. Appl. Phys.
89, 4091 ͑2001͒.
H. J. Jeong, Y. M. Shin, S. Y. Jeong, Y. C. Choi, Y. S. Park, S. C. Lim, G.
S. Park, N. S. Lee, J. M. Kim, and Y. H. Lee, Chem. Vap. Deposition 8, 11
H. Seiler, Z. Angew. Phys. 22, 249 ͑1967͒.
K. Kanaya, S. Ono, and F. Ishigaki, J. Phys. D 11, 2425 ͑1978͒.
P. G. Collins and A. Zettl, Phys. Rev. B 55, 9391 ͑1997͒.
FIG. 3. ͑a͒ The energy distribution for the secondary electrons in terms of
three different backbiases at a fixed primary electron energy of 1000 eV. ͑b͒
The schematic diagram of the potential drop of the secondary electron emis-
sion spectrum under a backbias of Ϫ800 V.
1100 Appl. Phys. Lett., Vol. 81, No. 6, 5 August 2002 Kim et al.
Downloaded 30 Jul 2002 to Redistribution subject to AIP license or copyright, see


Qiong Wu

Submitted to the faculty of the University Graduate School
in partial fulfillment of the requirements
for the degree
Doctor of Philosophy
in the Department of Physics,
Indiana University
September, 2008

Accepted by the Graduate Faculty, Indiana University, in partial fulfillment of
the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

Doctoral Committee __________________________
(Shyh-Yuan Lee, PhD)

(David V. Baxter, PhD)

(Mark H. Hess, PhD)

(Richard J. Van Kooten, PhD)

August 21, 2008

Copyright ©2008 by
Qiong Wu


To my parents.


The work covered in this thesis could not be done without the help and
support from a great number of people. It is a pleasure to convey my
gratitude to them all in this humble acknowledgment.
In the first place, I would like to record my gratitude to my advisor Dr.
Shyh-Yuan Lee for his supervision, advice, and guidance from the very early
stage of my accelerator career as well as giving me the opportunity and
encouragement of finding this project. His diligence and passion in science
always inspired me as a student, and I believe the benefit I received from this
will continue on. He opened my mind to this distinguished field, and led me
through the hardest time at the beginning. I am honored to become one of his
students, and would like to give him my deepest respect.
After two and half years of course study in Indiana University, I moved
to Collider-Accelerator Department of Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL)
looking for a PhD research topic. Dr. Ilan Ben-Zvi’s diamond secondary
emission group caught my interest. After I joined the group, all group
members offered the most generous help to my day-to-day research and
learning experience.
Dr. Ben-Zvi, as my local advisor in BNL, always sat with me with
patience whenever I am puzzled with the project. As a fully experienced and
genuinely talented scientist, he would then analyze the problem along with
me and lead me to a solution. I am deeply indebted to him for his detailed
editing of this document and of all the guidance he has provided.
I am also very grateful to Xiangyun Chang for his careful explanation to

all my questions and bright thoughts to this project. The working experience
with Xiangyun is very pleasant and profitable.
I would like to give my special thanks to Andrew Burrill, David Pate,
Triveni Rao, and John Smedley. As members in the group, they taught me so
much knowledge that a qualified experimentalist should know, little by little.
It is my honor to work with them and learn from them.
I would also like to acknowledge the people who have contribute in this
project: Craig Rhein, Joseph Saetta, John Walsh, Harrold Dorr, and Richard
I also wish to thank the other three scientists on my Doctorate committee:
Dr. David Baxter, Dr. Mark Hess, and Dr. Richard Van Kooten for agreeing
take time to review my thesis. They have given me many good suggestions
during my defense and in the thesis.
Finally, I would like to end this acknowledgement with my sincere
appreciation to my family. Their support and understanding is what led me
to this point and what made me the way I am.


Qiong Wu

Measurements and Studies of Secondary Electron Emission of Diamond
Amplified Photocathode

The Diamond Amplifier Photocathode (DAP) provides a very promising new
approach to provide high-average-current, high-brightness electron source for
High purity Chemical Vapor Deposition diamond films are used as the amplifier
of the electron beam. Primary electrons are provided by a traditional photocathode
and are bombarded onto tens of nanometer thick metal coating and into the diamond
sample. Within 1 micron travel in the diamond, the primary electrons generate
secondary electrons by collision on the order of two magnitudes increase in number.
Secondary electrons are accelerated through the diamond and will emit into vacuum
through surface with hydrogen termination. The electrons emitted should have very
low thermal emittance, for the electrons are constrained to the bottom of the
conduction band. The entire sample preparing process includes severe chemical
etching, metallization coating, and hydrogenation. Measurements are done with

specific equipments, and the quality of preparation is controlled by the Atomic Force
Microscope and electron or photon spectroscopy.
This thesis covers all aspects of this project, and will focus on the physics of
electron transfer within and out of the diamond sample. The measurements of the gain
are taken and compared under different conditions for obtaining the highest
amplification. The experiments have already demonstrated the secondary electron
gain of over 200 in the diamond and over 70 for emission into the vacuum. The
diamond will also act as a vacuum barrier, protecting the photocathode from
contamination by the accelerator vacuum. The emittance measurement is carefully
designed to reach the precision of 0.1eV. Theoretical calculations and computational
simulation are developed to fit with our experimental results.


1 Introduction ................................................................................................. 1
1.1 The Diamond Amplified Photocathode (DAP) Project .................................... 1
1.2 Advantages of diamond for amplified photocathodes ...................................... 5
1.2.1 Wide Band Gap ............................................................................................................ 5
1.2.2 Best Rigidity ................................................................................................................. 6
1.2.3 Highest Thermal Conductivity ..................................................................................... 7
1.2.4 Very high Mobility and Saturation Velocity ................................................................. 8
2 DAP Design ................................................................................................. 10
2.1 Vacuum ........................................................................................................... 11
2.2 Temperature and current ................................................................................. 11
2.3 Energy bands and NEA surface in the diamond ............................................. 12
3 Preparation of diamond sample ............................................................... 15
3.1 Acid Etching ................................................................................................... 15
3.2 Metallization ................................................................................................... 19

3.3 Hydrogenation ................................................................................................ 20
3.4 Brazing ........................................................................................................... 20
4 Diamond laser ablation ............................................................................. 22
4.1 Laser system ................................................................................................... 23
4.2 Sample preparation and characterization........................................................ 23
4.3 Laser ablation of polycrystalline diamond ..................................................... 27
4.3.1 Ablation in vacuum .................................................................................................... 27
4.3.2 Ablation in rich O
environment ................................................................................ 34
4.3.3 UV exposure ............................................................................................................... 35
4.4 Laser ablation of single crystalline diamond .................................................. 36
5 Transmission mode measurement of Diamond Secondary electron yield
..................................................................................................................... 40
5.1 Measurement setup ......................................................................................... 40
5.1.1 Primary electron source ............................................................................................. 40
5.1.2 Diamond holder and system setup ............................................................................. 42
5.1.3 Signal collection circuit ............................................................................................. 45

5.2 Experimental results ....................................................................................... 46
5.3 Laser Detrapping ............................................................................................ 53
5.3.1 Current Density .......................................................................................................... 57
5.3.2 Primary Energy .......................................................................................................... 59
5.3.3 Repetition Rate ........................................................................................................... 61
5.4 Energy lost in metal coating and estimation of energy needed for each e-h
pair .................................................................................................................. 63
5.5 Recombination of the charges in diamond ..................................................... 66
6 Emission Mode Measurement of Diamond Secondary Electron Yield 71
6.1 Measurement setup ......................................................................................... 71
6.2 DC beam or continuous long pulse measurements......................................... 73
6.3 Short-pulse measurements .............................................................................. 75
6.3.1 Delay time dependence .............................................................................................. 76
6.3.2 Temperature dependence............................................................................................ 79
6.3.3 Laser effect ................................................................................................................. 83


7 Thermal emittance measurement design ................................................ 87
7.1 Methods .......................................................................................................... 88
7.2 Limitations ...................................................................................................... 89
7.3 Comparison of lenses ..................................................................................... 92
7.4 Shielding ......................................................................................................... 94
7.5 Alignment ....................................................................................................... 95
7.6 Conclusion ...................................................................................................... 98
8 Summary and conclusion .......................................................................... 99


List of Tables:
Table 1.1: Band gap energy list @300K [4]. ............................................................................. 6
Table 1.2: Thermal conductivity of various materials [6, 7]. .................................................... 8
Table 2.1: Electron affinity of carbon and hydrogen. .............................................................. 13
Table 5.1: Energy needed for create one electron hole pair. .................................................... 66
Table 6.1: Average radii used in theoratical model calculation.Error! Bookmark not defined.


List of Figures:
Figure 1.1: A complete DAP system. ........................................................................................ 3
Figure 1.2: Diamond conventional unit cell. ............................................................................. 5
Figure 2.1: DAP Design. (Photo on the left is taken by J. Grimes) ......................................... 10
Figure 2.2: Field and energy bands in the diamond with NEA surface. .................................. 14
Figure 3.1: Near-edge x-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAF) comparison of diamond
before and after acid cleaning. ....................................................................................... 17
Figure 4.1: AFM scanning pictures of typical single crystal diamond sample bare and
metalized surfaces. Top two are taken by optical camera, and the structure on the
bare diamond surface is the image of the holder of the diamond. The scanning
cantilever width of the AFM is 0.04mm. The middle and bottom pictures are AFM
scanning topography and feedback circuit signal of the bare diamond surface.
Sample number HID8. Sample scanned after ultrasonic cleaning in ethyl alcohol. ...... 25
Figure 4.2: Raman/photoluminescence spectra of different diamond sample lattice. ............. 26
Figure 4.3: 532nm ns pulse laser ablated polycrystalline diamond under optical
microscope (left) and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) (right). (These pictures
are taken by J. Smedley and T. Rao) .............................................................................. 28
Figure 4.4: 266nm ns pulse laser ablated polycrystalline diamond under optical
microscope (left) and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) (right). (These pictures
are taken by J. Smedley and T. Rao) .............................................................................. 29
Figure 4.5: AFM image of polycrystalline diamond 266nm laser ablated area center. ........... 30
Figure 4.6: NEXAFS trace of unablated and ablated regions of diamond sample and
reference trace for amorphous carbon. (These curves are obtained by J. Smedley) ...... 31
Figure 4.7: 213nm ns pulse laser ablated polycrystalline diamond under optical
microscope. (This picture is taken by J. Smedley and T. Rao) ...................................... 32
Figure 4.8: AFM image of polycrystalline diamond 213nm laser ablated area center. ........... 33

Figure 4.9: Raman spectra of samples following ablation with different O2 pressures.
(These curves are obtained by J. Smedley).................................................................... 35
Figure 4.10: FTIR spectra of before and after UV exposure of ablated area. Different
thickness of graphite and AC theoretical absorption curves are also shown as
reference. (These curves are obtained by J. Smedley) ................................................... 36
Figure 4.11: Optical microscope picture of 213nm laser ablated single crystal diamond.
(This picture is taken by J. Smedley and T. Rao) .......................................................... 37
Figure 4.12: AFM image of single crystal diamond 213nm laser ablated area edge. .............. 38
Figure 4.13: AFM image of single crystal diamond 213nm laser ablated area center. ............ 38
Figure 5.1: EGG-3101 thermionic electron gun from Kimball Physics. ................................. 41
Figure 5.2: Sketch of electron gun pulsing trigger. ................................................................. 42
Figure 5.3: Diamond holder structure. (Created by Chong-Jer Liaw) ..................................... 43
Figure 5.4: Simple sketch of the transmission mode measurement principle. Either side of
the high-voltage supply can be grounded. ..................................................................... 45
Figure 5.5: Primary electron signal with pulse width of 200μs. .............................................. 47
Figure 5.6: Comparison of low field (top: 0.3MV/m) and high field (bottom: 3MV/m)
secondary electron signal of single crystal diamond with 0.3mm thickness in
transmission mode. ........................................................................................................ 49
Figure 5.7: Single crystal diamond window gain with primary electron energy ranges from
4keV to 8keV. Primary currents are shown in the legend. ............................................. 51
Figure 5.8: Secondary electron signal of 10μs pulse width with different duty cycles. No
laser beam applied. Primary electron peak current density is 0.03A/m
and the field
applied in the diamond is 0.033MV/m. ......................................................................... 54
Figure 5.9: Secondary electron signal of 10μs pulse width with different duty cycles. Laser
beam applied (532nm, <5mW). Primary electron peak current density is 0.03A/m

and the field applied in the diamond is 0.033MV/m. .................................................... 56

Figure 5.10: Gain comparison of with and without laser detrapping under different current
densities. Primary electron energy fixed at 6keV. .......................................................... 58
Figure 5.11: Gain comparison of with and without laser detrapping under different primary
electron energies. The primary current density is fixed at 0.04A/m
. ........................... 60
Figure 5.12: Gain comparison of with and without laser detrapping under various pulse
repetition rates. The pulse width for each measurement is fixed at 10μs. Primary
current density fixed at 0.036A/m
and energy fixed at 6keV. ...................................... 62
Figure 5.13: Maximum gain of different primary electron energy. ......................................... 65
Figure 5.14: Diamond electron band structure [27]. ............................................................... 67
Figure 6.1: Simple sketch of emission mode measurement principle. Either side can be
grounded. ....................................................................................................................... 71
Figure 6.2: Emission mode gain with DC primary beam. ....................................................... 74
Figure 6.3: First pulse gain under room temperature (23°C) with different field and
effective energy for each pulse. Effective energy is the energy of the primary beam
excluding the energy loss in the metal coating. ............................................................. 77
Figure 6.4: Secondary signal with different delays for the primary electron after applying
the DC field. .................................................................................................................. 78
Figure 6.5: Emission signal of the diamond amplifier at 200°C. ............................................ 80
Figure 6.6: Emission signal of the diamond amplifier at -140°C. ........................................... 82
Figure 6.7: Room temperature (23°C) measurement with laser applied (532nm laser,
<5mW). .......................................................................................................................... 84
Figure 6.8: High temperature (200°C) measurement with laser applied (532nm laser,
<5mW). .......................................................................................................................... 85
Figure 6.9: Low temperature (-140°C) measurement with laser applied (532nm laser,
<5mW). .......................................................................................................................... 86
Figure 7.1: Setup design for thermal energy measurement of diamond secondary emission.. 88

Figure 7.2: Acceleration of the secondary electrons by applying a high voltage across the
diamond and anode. ....................................................................................................... 89
Figure 7.3: Aberration and space charge effects on beam spot size on screen. ....................... 91
Figure 7.4: Comparison of solenoid and two Einzel lenses. ................................................... 93
Figure 7.5: Comparison of solenoid and two quadrupoles. ..................................................... 94
Figure 7.6: Solenoid with different shielding. ......................................................................... 95
Figure 7.7: The offset magnetic field to the center of the electron beam and the waist.
FWHM difference according to the offset. Thermal energy of the beam is 0.1eV. ....... 97


Introduction 1

1.1 The Diamond Amplified Photocathode (DAP) Project
Over many years, electron accelerators have served in a large variety of
applications. Besides the contribution of electron colliders such as LEP in the precise
measurements of important values in the Standard Model, scientists and engineers
have made possible high brightness, constant power, and short wavelength light
sources to be possible. Synchrotron Light Sources and Free Electron Lasers (FEL)
provide the largest work platforms with high X-ray energy and brightness for biology,
chemistry, material science, medical science, and much more. Many applications
require continuous current, high intensity electron beams with narrow spatial and
temporal distributions.
Traditionally electrons are produced in thermionic cathodes. Thermal cathodes
rely on thermal energy overcoming the electrostatic forces restraining the charge
carriers of certain materials. The emitted current is limited by the temperature of the
cathode and the electric field. In recent years, photocathodes became widely used as
an electron source. The negatively charged electrode covered with a layer of light
sensitive material will emit electrons when struck by photons with energy above the
material‟s band gap. This type of cathode can provide high brightness electron beams
Introduction 2

and low emittance when combined with the high electric field available in an RF gun.
Metallic materials such as magnesium and copper are popular in RF guns that
operate with low average current [1, 2]. These metallic materials are easy to prepare,
robust and low in cost. The most important parameter for photocathodes is the
quantum efficiency (QE), which is the percentage of photons hitting the photoreactive
material surface that will produce an e-h (electron-hole) pair. The QE of the metallic
photocathodes is only in the order of ~0.1%. Semiconducting photocathodes, such as
GaAs, can provide a much higher QE (in the order of 10%) with a much larger photon
energy range than metallic materials. But they are very prone to contamination so that
the lifetime of semiconducting photocathodes is limited. Only a few hours of
continuous emitting are available at the regime of about 100 milliamps, which is of
interest for FEL and ERL [3]. The maximum current a photocathode can deliver
depends upon the power of input laser and its QE, which is wavelength and material
The Diamond Amplified Photocathode (DAP) is a new development for electron
sources that promise a high current, low emittance and high stability electron beam
with a long lifetime. The DAP constitutes two main components, a traditional
photocathode and an amplifier. The photocathode will provide a primary electron
beam as a laser illuminates the surface material. These primary electrons will be
accelerated to a few keV under a DC electric field applied between the photocathode
Introduction 3

and a thin metal layer coated on the amplifier window. The primary electrons will
penetrate through the metal coating into the amplifier material and produce secondary
electrons with amplification of more than 100. The secondary electrons will be
emitted into vacuum and accelerated by the RF field of the gun. Diamond is uniquely
suited to be the amplifier‟s material as will be explained later on.

Figure 1.1: A complete DAP system.

Figure 1.1 shows the schematic drawing of the DAP system with diamond
window as the amplifier. Diamond is ideal for this application, and its advantages will
Introduction 4

be discussed in the next section.
The scenario inside the diamond window after primary electrons penetrate
through the metal coating is as follows: Within about 100nm travel in the diamond,
the primary electrons generate secondary electrons and holes by collisions. The
number of secondary electrons depends on the primary electron energy, but it is
typically on the order of two orders of magnitudes larger than the number of primary
electrons. Thus each primary electron will form a plasma cloud of electrons and
holes along its range. The electron and holes will recombine within the plasma with
the presence of three-body scattering or diffuse and merge into the metal coating to
recombine within 1ns unless separated by an electric field. If the RF field of the gun is
carefully adjusted at the right phase to accelerate the electrons in the plasma cloud,
portion of the secondary electrons will be able to transfer across the diamond bulk.
The number of electrons that leave the plasma cloud is related to the RF electric field
amplitude and the energy of primary electrons (will be discussed in Chapter 5). As the
secondary electrons reach the opposite surface, they will exit into the vacuum through
the diamond surface with hydrogen termination. The electrons emitted are “cold”,
i.e. they have a very low thermal emittance, for the electrons are constrained to the
bottom of the conduction band.

Introduction 5

1.2 Advantages of diamond for amplified photocathodes
The material of the amplifier is carefully selected to gain the highest Secondary
Emission Yield (SEY). Among all the materials, diamond has many properties which
allow it to provide the best performance as an amplifier of electron beams.

1.2.1 Wide Band Gap
Diamond is the prototype material for the structure shown in Figure 1.2. The
conventional unit cell is face-centered cubic, with a side length a
equal to 3.567Å (0.3567 nm), and two atoms per unit cell at room temperature.

Figure 1.2: Diamond conventional unit cell.

Diamond has a band gap of 5.47eV, which is very wide compared to other
materials. Table 1.1 shows the minimum band gap energy of several common
Introduction 6


Table 1.1: Band gap energy list @300K [4].
Material Band Gap Energy [eV] Breakdown field[MV/m]
Diamond (C) 5.47 (indirect) 2150
Silicon (Si) 1.11 (indirect) 30
Silicon carbide (SiC) 2.36-3.23 (indirect) 100-500
Germanium (Ge) 0.67 (indirect) 0.1
Indium arsenide (InAs) 0.354 (direct) 0.04
Gallium arsenide (GaAs) 1.43 (direct) 60
Gallium nitride (GaN) 3.4 (direct) 500

Materials with larger band gaps will have the ability of tolerant stronger electric
fields. According to Table 1.1, diamond can hold up to more than 2000MV/m electric
field before breakdown. High electric field is required for preventing recombination
and for increasing the drift velocity of the secondary electrons. As primary electrons
create e-h pair plasma along their penetration path, the higher the applied field, the
more secondary electrons can be pulled out before they diffuse into the metal coating.
Diamond is the only material that will have negative electron affinity (NEA)
with hydrogen termination on the surface, due to the large band gap. This will be
discussed further in Section 2.3.

1.2.2 Best Rigidity
It is well known that diamond is the most rigid material. This rigidity allows it to
Introduction 7

be prepared into thin films of only a few microns.
In principal, a thick diamond is desired for good thermal conductivity and
strength. But for RF applications, the electron acceleration phase limit in the RF gun
must be considered.
Calculations have been done by others for the single-cell RF gun designed for
RHIC electron cooling. The optimized initial phase is less than 35° and the frequency
of RF cavity is ~700MHz. The RF phase for secondary electrons generated near the
backside of the diamond should be at least 5°. The time allowed for secondary
electrons to pass through the diamond is less than 30°, i.e. ~120 ps. The saturation
velocity of electron transfer in diamond bulk is ~2×10
m/s [5]. Thus the thickness of
the diamond window needs to be about 30 microns. For operation of a self-supporting
film with a diameter of the order of 1cm at this thickness the rigidity of diamond is a
great advantage.

1.2.3 Highest Thermal Conductivity
The thermal conductivity of diamond is much higher than even copper, which is
the most widely used thermal conducting material. The diamond is subjected to
several heat sources during amplification of the current:
 The power deposited by primary electrons bombardment.
Introduction 8

 The power deposited by secondary electron transportation.
 The power deposited by RF shielding on the metal coating.
 The resistive heating by the electron replenishment current flowing
through the metal coating.
The heat produced must be quickly dissipated to ensure the temperature of the
whole system does not increase to an unsafe limit. Simulations in X. Chang‟s Ph.D.
thesis showed that the diamond secondary emission cathode can easily handle 100W
of heat power without wide range temperature change [6].

Table 1.2: Thermal conductivity of various materials [7, 8].
Material Thermal conductivity [W/(m· K)] Temperature [K]
Diamond 1000 273
Silver 429 300
Copper 386 279
Aluminum 237 293
Stainless Steel 16.3 296
Water 0.6 293
Air 0.025 293

1.2.4 Very high Mobility and Saturation Velocity
The drift velocity of electrons in diamond is in the order of 1×10
m/s under an
Introduction 9

electric field of a few megavolts per meter as mentioned above. High mobility is very
important for high frequency applications. The electrons under high frequency RF
field will only have a very small period of time to transfer through the amplifier in
case to be at the right phase when emitted into the gun. Along with high rigidity, the
diamond amplifier is easily capable of responding to 10GHz pulses.

DAP Design 10

The design of the DAP includes five main components designed to carry out the
process of electron emission described in Chapter 1:
- Diamond amplifier with its metal coating
- Niobium substrate
- Sapphire vacuum cell
- Photocathode
- Supporting window
Figure 2.1 shows the relative size and configuration of the DAP. Individual
issues of the DAP are discussed below.

Figure 2.1: DAP Design. (Photo on the left is taken by J. Grimes)

DAP Design 11

2.1 Vacuum
Photocathode performance and lifetime can be very sensitive to certain gas
density. An example is the cesium used in coating of a GaAs photocathode to provide
Negative Electron Affinity (NEA). Cesium is very reactive and can be easily oxidized
and lose its effect. The DAP capsule will protect the photocathode surface from
contamination during transportation.
A 30μm thick diamond window with 10mm diameter can hold up to 1Atm
pressure difference. The vacuum inside the DAP can be maintained even during
transfer of the assembly in air.
In addition to the diamond window rigidity, the brazing points must be vacuum
tight [9].

2.2 Temperature and current
The selection of niobium and sapphire as amplifier substrate and supporting of
the vacuum is based on their thermal expansion as well as their thermal and electrical
The DAP is designed as an electron source for both normal and
superconducting guns, thus it must be able to withstand repeated cryogenic cycles to
as low as a few degrees Kelvin. The preparation of the DAP involves diamond
DAP Design 12

brazing, which is a high temperature process. Considering the above extreme thermal
conditions, the material that is joined with the diamond needs to have a thermal
expansion coefficient as close to diamond as possible to provide minimum stress.
Good thermal conductivity is also important in the thermal processes.
As secondary electrons are emitted from the diamond, replenishment current is
needed to keep the whole system neutral. Thus the joined material must also be
electrical conductive.
Niobium with a thermal expansion coefficient of 7.3×10
/K, electrical
conductivity of 6.6×10
, and thermal conductivity of 53.7W/(m· K) is selected
according to the above criteria [9].
Along the same line, the cell must be a high thermal conductive insulator to
provide a good thermal path and electric standoff. Sapphire with thermal conductivity
of 35W/(m· K) at 300K, electrical conductivity of 1×10
, and thermal
expansion of 5.6×10
/K at 293K is very suitable for these purposes.

2.3 Energy bands and NEA surface in the diamond
Diamond is a material that easily demonstrates NEA [10]. The electron affinity
(EA) of an atom or molecule is the energy required to detach an electron from a singly
charged negative ion, i.e. the energy change for the process. Most metallic atoms have
DAP Design 13

more negative affinity than nonmetallic atoms.

Table 2.1: Electron affinity of carbon and hydrogen.
Atom Electron Affinity [kJ/mol] Reference
Hydrogen 72.77 [11]
Carbon 121.78 [12]
Lithium 59.62 [13]
Oxygen 141.004 [14]
Cesium 45.51 [15]
Potassium 48.38 [15]

The EA of a surface is defined as the vacuum energy level E
minus the
conduction band minimum energy level E

vac c
EA E E = ÷ (2.1)
The Fermi levels of the diamond and of the termination materials (hydrogen or
alkaline elements) are aligned. Since the termination material has a relatively low
work function, the vacuum level can be lower than the bottom level of the diamond‟s
conduction band. This will allow the secondary electrons to escape into the vacuum.
As listed in Section 1.2.1, diamond has a very large band gap of 5.47eV. As
DAP Design 14

shown in Figure 2.2, the energy barrier from Fermi level to conduction band of
diamond is higher than the work function of most of the metallic elements including
hydrogen, which makes diamond very easy to form NEA. It is reported that the
electron affinity of the hydrogenated diamond surface can be as low as -3.4eV [10, 16,

Figure 2.2: Field and energy bands in the diamond with NEA surface.

Photoemission and reflective mode secondary electron emission of hydrogenated
diamond has been observed and reported [18-20]. For the application as current
amplifier, secondary electrons need to transfer through the entire diamond bulk and
only the non-recombined electrons can be emitted from the opposite surface.
Preparation of diamond sample 15

3.1 Acid Etching
The purpose of acid etching is to eliminate the various atoms and non-diamond
carbon layer present on the surface of the diamond sample. These elements and
structures will define the Fermi level of the area they occupied, thus will add
uncertainty to the experimental results.

- Prepare two work surfaces, one inside and another outside the fume hood. A hot
plate should be placed inside the fume hood
- Prepare large glass containers that can be tightly closed for storing liquid waste
- Prepare a plastic bag to collect solid waste such as wipes
- Clean all the glassware to remove contaminants
- Mount the diamond samples in the sample holder
- Position two beakers with deionized water near the hot plate in the fume hood
- Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for safety.
- Ensure the ventilation system in the fume hood is on
Preparation of diamond sample 16

- Place the chromic acid inside the fume hood. Chromic acid is hygroscopic, keep
it tightly closed, away from moisture or any source of water
- All the etching must be done under the fume hood. Keep hot liquids in the fume
hood untill they are cool. After etching, make sure to dispose of the chemical
waste in the pre-labeled glass containers. Follow the steps below:

o 15 min of saturated CrO
in H
(heated so vapors are visible)
o Deionized (DI) water rinse
o 2 min NH
O (1:10) Ultrasonic
o DI water rinse
o 2 min HCl:H
O (1:10) Ultrasonic
o DI water rinse
o 5 Min H
(5:1) boiling
o DI water rinse
o 2 min NH
O (1:1:4) boiling
o DI water rinse
o 2 min HCl:H
O (1:1:4) boiling
o DI water rinse
o DI water Ultrasonic
o DI water rinse
Preparation of diamond sample 17

Figure 3.1: Near-edge x-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAF) comparison of
diamond before and after acid cleaning.

In NEXAF, the photoelectron from core level excited by an input x-ray photon is
captured, and the consequent fluorescent photon or Auger electron or an inelastically
scattered photoelectron may also be measured. All information is combined to
determine all the final states of the photoelectron that are consistent with conservation
rules. Detailed analysis of the NEXAFS data yields information about the orientation
Preparation of diamond sample 18

and the binding of the surface. The curves in Figure 3.1 have been normalized
according to the photon flux, and the spectrum can be analyzed by comparing the
peak locations to Ref [21]. Between the two normalized curves, the acid etched
sample (blue curve) shows sharper diamond peaks and weaker non diamond peaks,
which indicates the possibility for detecting a photoelectron from pure diamond bond
is larger, i.e. the acid etching has eliminated the surface remnant for a certain degree.
The graphite peak around 280eV and second resonance peaks of iron around
350eV in Figure 3.1 gets smaller or vanishes completely after acid etching. The acid
etching would partially remove the amorphous carbon and eliminates iron on the
The strong acids used in the etching will create oxygen terminations on the
diamond surface. The oxygen-carbon bond is very strong, with a bond energy

(C≡O) = (1076.4±0.7)kJ· mol
[22]. The oxygen termination will protect the
purification of the surface from contamination until we heat it up to 800°C or more.
After acid etching, the sample is kept in a clean environment at 1% humidity for
further experimentation. Each sample is etched and stored separately for
identification. We keep track of the history of each sample, so the metal coating
migration into the diamond due to electron bombardment and lifetime of the sample
can be evaluated.
Preparation of diamond sample 19

The migration of metal coating layer into the diamond bulk has been observed on
samples which has been used extensively, i.e. the thin metal coating on the surface
cannot be removed by acid etching following extended electron bombardment. In this
case, the diamond sample must be replaced.

3.2 Metallization
The signal collection highly depends on the details of the metallization of the
primary side of the diamond sample. Primary electrons must penetrate the metal
coating before entering the diamond for amplification. The metal coating will be in
contact with the niobium substrate to provide a replenishment current to the diamond.
All the electrons will lose part of their energy in the metal, and only the remnant
energy will contribute in generating secondary electrons. Thus the metal coating has
certain aspects that affect the performance of the amplification.
Clearly the selection of the coating material is important. The metal–diamond
contact should be able to allow holes easily escape from the diamond, and strong
adhesion to survive the extreme thermal process. The latter requirement prevents the
usage of metals which do not interact with carbon once applied, such as gold. The
former requirement therefore demands metals with EA close to that of the diamond to
form an ohmic contact on the diamond surface. In fact, at this specific surface, the
free carrier should be holes alone, which indicates that the surface will act as a p-type
Preparation of diamond sample 20

semiconductor, so metals with high work functions form the best contacts. In the
experiments discussed in later chapters, the metal coating is a ~50nm platinum on top
of ~30nm titanium, where the titanium forms a good bond with the diamond while the
platinum provides protection of the titanium from oxidation.

3.3 Hydrogenation
Hydrogenation is the process of applying hydrogen termination to the diamond
surface. Before applying hydrogen atoms, the diamond surface must be freed from
other elements by breaking their bonds at a high temperature, and usually this is done
with local temperature of 800°C or higher. After exposing the bare diamond surface,
the environment needs to be hydrogen atom rich. This can be done by flowing
hydrogen gas through a hot filament or gas cracker, or applying a hydrogen plasma
system. The hydrogenation in the experiments discussed in the following chapters was
performed with pure hydrogen flowing through a thermal gas cracker (MANTIS
MGC75) at ~0.5 cubic centimeters per minute.

3.4 Brazing
The configuration of the DAP as shown in Figure 2.1 can finished in two steps:
brazing and cold welding.
Preparation of diamond sample 21

The contacts between diamond and niobium, niobium and sapphire are produced
by high temperature vacuum brazing with an alloy of titanium, copper, and silver
(TiCuSil) as the brazing material. Ticusil is specially designed to join refractory
metals and ceramic/diamond. This brazing technique is carried out by J. Grimes and
described in detail in his MS thesis [9].
Cold welding is planned to be used to join the sapphire vacuum cell and the
supporting window of the photocathode. Considering that the photocathode material
is easily contaminated, it is important to keep it continuously under ultra-high vacuum.
The best solution would be sealing the supporting window onto the sapphire in-situ at
the preparation chamber of the photocathode. Cold welding is chosen to avoid a high
temperature process that could ruin the performance of the photocathode.

Diamond laser ablation 22

The diamond thickness for amplifier application is critical, because together with
the timing of the primary pulse, it defines the phase of the secondary emission pulse.
In addition, a very smooth surface is required to prevent spreading the electrons in
time, since the electron velocity is much slower in the diamond than in vacuum. For
the same reason, a highly parallel geometry is required for the diamond plate. The
ideal thickness to be used in a 700MHz electron gun for launch phase of 35° would be
about 30μm. This is not achievable with mechanical polishing due to the stress
embedded onto the surface during this process. Reactive Ion Etching (RIE) is one of
the possible methods to obtain such a dimension, but this is a time consuming process
if significant thickness reduction or large aspect ratios are required. The speed of the
RIE thinning of the diamond that is commercially available is about 10μm/day.
As an alternative method, laser ablation was introduced for shaping the Chemical
Vapor Deposition (CVD) diamonds. The advantages of this method, beyond thinning
the diamond to tens of microns with 10 times faster speed than RIE, include the laser
ablation can also engrave precise patterns onto the diamond surface or into the bulk as

Diamond laser ablation 23

4.1 Laser system
Two lasers, both operating at a fundamental wavelength of 1064nm with pulse
durations of 10ns and 30ps were used for the ablation. The ps laser is an actively and
passively mode locked Nd:YAG oscillator followed by pulse selector and double pass
amplifier, (Leopard series, Continuum Lasers) operating at 1064nm, capable of
delivering 125mJ at 10Hz in a pulse duration of 60ps. The wavelength of this laser is
converted to 266 nm by two successive doubling crystals to provide up to 13mJ
energy in 30 ps. Only the 266nm radiation of this laser was used to ablate the sample.
The energy on the target can be varied by changing the pump power of the amplifier.
The ns laser is a Q switched Nd:YAG capable of delivering up to 400mJ in a 20
ns pulse duration at 10Hz repetition rate. Two doubling crystals were used in series to
generate up to 200mJ of 532nm and 40mJ of 266nm radiation with pulse durations of
14ns and 10ns respectively. The energy of the laser beam on the sample was adjusted
by introducing appropriate filters in the beam path.
The beam from either of these lasers is focused using a nominal 15cm lens to
result in a 150μm focal spot size on the target. The position of the sample at the focus
was identified by the size of the laser beam back reflected from the sample.

4.2 Sample preparation and characterization
The diamonds used in experiments are all single crystal, ultra-high-purity, highly
Diamond laser ablation 24

polished and flat thin films produced by CVD. The size of the diamond samples used
in the experiments is typically 4.0mm × 4.0mm × 0.3mm, and the surface orientation
is [100]. Due to growth rate limitation, the other two orientations, [110] and [111] are
not available in ppb purity level. The impurity concentration in these diamond
samples are all within a few ppb. Both sides are polished to surface roughness (Ra)
<15nm, and the flatness is controlled to under 5 fringes @ 632.8nm over the entire
Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) scanning results of the diamond surface is
shown in Figure 4.1.
High purity and small thickness single crystal diamonds contain few electron
trapping centers. Impurity atoms, grain boundaries, and stress existing due to
imperfect lattice structure are possible potential wells for electrons. Secondary
electrons have a certain possibility being trapped by these potential wells. Electric
field shielding is produced due to these trappings, which are discussed in Ref [6].
Diamond laser ablation 25

Figure 4.1: AFM scanning pictures of typical single crystal diamond sample bare and
metalized surfaces. Top two are taken by optical camera, and the structure on the bare
diamond surface is the image of the holder of the diamond. The scanning cantilever
width of the AFM is 0.04mm. The middle and bottom pictures are AFM scanning
topography and feedback circuit signal of the bare diamond surface. Sample number
HID8. Sample scanned after ultrasonic cleaning in ethyl alcohol.
Diamond laser ablation 26

Figure 4.2: Raman/photoluminescence spectra of different diamond sample lattice.

In Raman/photoluminescence spectra above, electronic grade polycrystalline
(100μm grain size) sample HIE5 (green) and detector grade single crystal HID3 (red)
show negligible nitrogen impurities (<1ppm), while in optical grade polycrystalline
(10μm grain size) sample HIO7 and HIO8 (blue and black) the silicon and nitrogen
contents are significant. The optical grade samples also show large
photoluminescence background, which is likely due to the abundant randomly
oriented crystalline grain boundaries. In the secondary emission measurements, only
detector grade samples are selected. This simplifies the motion of electrons drifting
through the diamond, reduces the probability of trapping, and provides the best
Diamond laser ablation 27

rigidity and thermal conductivity.
Polycrystalline (electronic grade) and single crystal (detector grade) CVD
diamonds from Harris International were used for laser ablation.
In other samples, these baseline measurements were done on unablated regions
on the ablated samples. The sample is then mounted onto a holder that is suspended in
a vacuum commercial 2 ¾ inch vacuum cube held at pressures < 1μtorr. The cube is
mounted on a dual axis, motorized translation stage to facilitate movement of the
sample in a plane perpendicular to the laser beam and perform raster scanning. We
characterized all the ablated samples using optical and atomic force microscopes,
Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and Raman spectroscopy, Near Edge
X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (NEXAFS) and x-ray crystallography where

4.3 Laser ablation of polycrystalline diamond
4.3.1 Ablation in vacuum
Two identical electronic grade diamonds, labeled as HIE6 and HIE8, with
dimensions of 5 mm diameter, 0.16 mm thick and optical finish were exposed in
succession to 132uJ of 532nm and 90 µJ of 266 nm at 10 Hz repetition rate, and the
pulse duration was tuned to be at 10ns or 30ps for both wavelengths. The sample was
pumped down as described above to better than 1μTorr. The samples were moved in a
Diamond laser ablation 28

raster pattern in both x and y directions 10 times with a scan step of 50 µm for 70
minutes to ablate 1x1 mm
on the sample. Since these two samples were identical, in
some cases, data from one sample before processing and from another after
processing are compared to study the effect of the process.
The ablation with 532nm ~10ns pulsed laser was quite destructive,
non-uniformly removing large regions of the diamond surface, although some raster
scan pattern is observable, as shown in Figure 4.3.

Figure 4.3: 532nm ns pulse laser ablated polycrystalline diamond under optical
microscope (left) and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) (right). (These pictures
are taken by J. Smedley and T. Rao)

Figure 4.4 shows the images of polycrystalline diamond after ablation with
266nm ~10ns pulse duration laser. Both images show clearer raster scan pattern as
Diamond laser ablation 29

well as some dark areas, and the surface damage caused by 266nm laser is limited to
small craters scattered on the ablated area.

Figure 4.4: 266nm ns pulse laser ablated polycrystalline diamond under optical
microscope (left) and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) (right). (These pictures
are taken by J. Smedley and T. Rao)

Diamond laser ablation 30

Figure 4.5: AFM image of polycrystalline diamond 266nm laser ablated area center.

Diamond laser ablation 31

Figure 4.6: NEXAFS trace of unablated and ablated regions of diamond sample and
reference trace for amorphous carbon. (These curves are obtained by J. Smedley)

AFM image shows the ablated area has about 2μm roughness. The clear trace of
the raster scanning is unacceptable for thinning the diamond amplifier, where the
roughness should be controlled to under 1μm.
NEXAFS from the unablated and ablated sections of the diamond are shown in
Figure 4.6. NEXAFS is a highly sensitive surface technique that can clearly delineate
surface impurity from the bulk impurity and can identify different forms of carbon
unequivocally. A reference curve for the amorphous carbon is also shown in the same
plot. In comparison to the unablated region, the ablation process has increased the
Diamond laser ablation 32

relative strength of the peak at 285eV while reducing the strength of the peaks at
289eV and beyond 292eV. The strong similarity between the reference plot and the
NEXAFS signal from ablated section of the diamond imply that the darkened region
is predominantly amorphous carbon (AC). The AC adheres on the surface of the
diamond, and can be easily removed chemically or in an ozone environment.
To form a smooth surface after the ablation, the raster scan size is decreased to
5μm to overlap the adjacent ablation traces. The laser is changed to 213nm, and the
pulse duration is decreased to ~30ps to deposit a comparable energy to the diamond
sample as ablations above. 266nm photon is corresponding to 4.7eV energy, which is
below the band gap of the diamond where 213nm photon is corresponding to 5.8eV
energy, which is just above the band gap. Thus 213nm laser is opaque to diamond.

Figure 4.7: 213nm ns pulse laser ablated polycrystalline diamond under optical
Diamond laser ablation 33

microscope. (This picture is taken by J. Smedley and T. Rao)

Figure 4.8: AFM image of polycrystalline diamond 213nm laser ablated area center.

The fine lines shown in Figure 4.7 within the ablated area are grain boundaries of
the polycrystalline diamond, which is same as the well defined sharp-angled pattern
shown in Figure 4.8. The area within the sharp angle has more material left after
ablation than the rest of the area, which is differently oriented. This indicates the
energy absorbed by one orientation is different from another orientation. So to obtain
a smooth surface, single crystal diamond must be applied.

Diamond laser ablation 34

4.3.2 Ablation in rich O
The vacuum chamber was backfilled with oxygen at base pressures of 14.2Torr,
0.9Torr, 0.1Torr and <0.01Torr using a leak valve and diamond was ablated at each of
these pressures. Optical transmission measurements using 623.8nm HeNe laser and
optical constants of amorphous carbon indicate that the thickness of the non-diamond
carbon layer is ~130nm and does not depend strongly on the oxygen pressure. The
Raman spectra for the ablated surfaces are shown in Figure 4.9. As can be inferred
from the data, the presence of oxygen did not make a difference to the formation of
the non-diamond carbon on the ablated surface.
Diamond laser ablation 35

Figure 4.9: Raman spectra of samples following ablation with different O2 pressures.
(These curves are obtained by J. Smedley)

4.3.3 UV exposure
The ablated surface of HIE8 was exposed to the radiation from a mercury arc
lamp (Jelight, GLF-12-SRC) for 6 hours at a distance of 5cm from the lamp.

Diamond laser ablation 36

Figure 4.10: FTIR spectra of before and after UV exposure of ablated area. Different
thickness of graphite and AC theoretical absorption curves are also shown as
reference. (These curves are obtained by J. Smedley)

In the region of wave numbers from 800cm
to 4000cm
, the IR transmission
has changed from 65% before the UV radiation to 94% after the radiation. The UV
radiation in air would create a reactive ozone environment. Ozone would then form
at the presence of non-diamond carbon and left the surface cleaned.

4.4 Laser ablation of single crystalline diamond
The dark areas and uneven surface on ablated areas of polycrystalline diamond
Diamond laser ablation 37

could have been due to the grain boundaries. A single crystal was ablated with 213 nm
ps laser. This energy is above the band gap of the diamond, so the diamond is opaque
to the wavelength and all the energy will be deposited at the surface.
A single crystal diamond sample (HID13) was ablated using a laser pulse of
100µJ energy at a wavelength of 213nm and pulse duration of 30ps at a repetition rate
of 10Hz. The sample was raster scanned with 5μm step size. The optical microscope
pictures of the ablated and unablated regions are shown in Figure 4.11.

Figure 4.11: Optical microscope picture of 213nm laser ablated single crystal
diamond. (This picture is taken by J. Smedley and T. Rao)

Diamond laser ablation 38

Figure 4.12: AFM image of single crystal diamond 213nm laser ablated area edge.

Figure 4.13: AFM image of single crystal diamond 213nm laser ablated area center.
Diamond laser ablation 39

The roughness in Figure 4.13 is about 100nm, which is tolerable for the amplifier
application. Much less dark areas are created in this ablation process, and the raster
scanning pattern is hard to distinguish from the AFM images. From Figure 4.11, the
optical microscope image shows that there is much less surface non-diamond carbon
coverage than Figure 4.3 and Figure 4.4, and it does not show the grain boundaries as
Figure 4.7.
Laser ablation with energy above the diamond band gap is proved to be a
feasible method of thinning the diamond with submicron roughness with only a very
small amount of non-diamond carbon left on the surface. A RIE process can be added
to refine the surface of the laser ablated surface. The combination of both processes is
ideal for thinning the diamond sample to a few tens of microns with surface roughness
in nanometer scale.
Transmission mode measurement of Diamond Secondary electron yield 40

Transmission mode measurements are designed to study the secondary electron
generation and transport in the diamond. The emission into the vacuum uses a
different experimental setup and will be considered in Chapter 6.

5.1 Measurement setup
5.1.1 Primary electron source
Primary electrons are generated from a thermionic electron gun source Model
EGG-3101 commercially purchased from Kimball Physics. The cathode material is
high-brightness single-crystal lanthanum hexaboride (LaB
) with small spot size
option, which can provide 10μA peak current maximum and 100μm diameter spot
size minimum with optimum working distance. The gun has up to 10keV output
electron energy. The electron energies selected for experiments are limited to 8keV to
allow a safety margin.
Transmission mode measurement of Diamond Secondary electron yield 41

Figure 5.1: EGG-3101 thermionic electron gun from Kimball Physics.

Primary electrons are focused by an Einzel lens structure panels inside the gun.
With the available electron blanking option, the primary beam from the gun can
be pulsed. For short pulse output, an electric circuit is designed to trigger the blanker
inside the gun. Using the delay function of each output of the Stanford DG535 Digital
Delay and Pulse Generator shown in Figure 5.2, two successive pulses can be sent out
with programmed timing. These two successive pulses can be delivered when needed
to study the electron or hole trapping in diamond.
Transmission mode measurement of Diamond Secondary electron yield 42

Figure 5.2: Sketch of electron gun pulsing trigger.

5.1.2 Diamond holder and system setup
During the measurement, a sample holder is used for three purposes: Supporting
the diamond surface perpendicular to the primary beam; insuring electrical contact to
the primary electron impact surface of diamond in order to provide a replenishment
current; and providing an electric field to accelerate the secondary electrons and allow
measurement of the secondary current.

Transmission mode measurement of Diamond Secondary electron yield 43

Figure 5.3: Diamond holder structure. (Created by Chong-Jer Liaw)

In transmission mode measurements, the diamond is coated with selected thin
metal films, identically on both sides. A stainless steel tube is pressed onto the
primary electron impacting surface (primary surface), and the inner diameter of the
tube is slightly less than the metal coating outer rim. . The tube is then connected to
electrical ground through a current measurement resistor. The voltage on the resistor
is typically 10s of millivolts and therefore the primary surface can be considered
effectively grounded. Good electrical contact is ensured between the metal coating
and the tube to provide replenishment currents. The primary side of the diamond is
grounded through the oscilloscope during all studies and the signal is measured on
this low voltage level.
On the other side of the diamond, a copper anode is in good electrical contact
with the metal coating. The anode is connected to a high voltage power supply, and it
Transmission mode measurement of Diamond Secondary electron yield 44

can be set to any voltage between 0V to 5000V. The limit of 5000V is governed by the
potential breakdown, affecting the vacuum level of the system and for safety
considerations. Electrical break down through the vacuum might happen if the voltage
is exceeds 5000V, which corresponds to more than 15MV/m.
Ceramic spacers and washers are used as insulators given their good
performance in ultra-high vacuum. The use of the ceramic spacers also makes the
insulation path along the insulator‟s surface very long and the insulator‟s surface is
not directly exposed to the electron beams. These are very important considerations to
improve the insulation ability.
A copper block of relatively large mass with a stainless steel tube connected is at
the very back of the holder. The entire stack of components is screwed down onto this
block. The long tube which extending out of the system can provide heating and
cooling for different experimental conditions. Liquid nitrogen can be fed through the
tube and bring the system down to less than -140°C. A cartridge heater is also
available to slide down the tube to bring the system up to greater than 200°C.
A leak checking is done on the whole assembly, and the vacuum can reach
2E-9Torr after baking.
The principle of the transmission mode experiment is shown in Figure 5.4.
Transmission mode measurement of Diamond Secondary electron yield 45

Figure 5.4: Simple sketch of the transmission mode measurement principle.
Either side of the high-voltage supply can be grounded.

is the applied high voltage on the anode. Current I measures the
replenishment current as the secondary electrons transits through the diamond. The
SEY of the amplifier is calculated by comparing the ratio between the replenishment
current and the primary current.

5.1.3 Signal collection circuit
According to the sample holder design for transmission mode measurement, high
voltage is applied to the copper anode for secondary electron acceleration and
collection. As the secondary electrons move away from the injection surface to the
opposite electrode and leave the diamond, replenishment current enters the diamond
Transmission mode measurement of Diamond Secondary electron yield 46

from the ground electrode and can be detected by the oscilloscope connected to the
holder. The signal collection circuit needs to have a fast response and good sensitivity
to small signals. The signal cable is kept short to reduce the distributed capacitance.

5.2 Experimental results
The electrode of the primary electron side of the holder is designed with a
tubular shape (similar to a Faraday Cup) to collect most of the secondary electrons
that are generated by the primary electrons on the metal coating surface and escape to
vacuum. It is found that more than 90% of those electrons are captured by the
electrode when the primary beam is focused in that hole. The primary electron current
is measured by focusing the beam inside the hole and applying no field on the
With the experiment setup discussed in Section 5.1.2, pulsed secondary electron
signals are measured by oscilloscope. The signal is then compared with the primary
electron signal. The ratio between the secondary current and primary current will give
the SEY under the given applied electrical field in the diamond.
Transmission mode measurement of Diamond Secondary electron yield 47

Figure 5.5: Primary electron signal with pulse width of 200μs.

Under a low applied field, the secondary electron drift velocity is not saturated.
The electron thermal energy at equilibrium is also smaller than that at higher applied
field and therefore under a low applied field these electrons have a larger probability
of being trapped. The trapped electrons will form an electric field, opposing the
applied field. The opposing field causes the succeeding electrons to experience a
weaker accelerating field. Therefore, fewer electrons will be able to leave the plasma
region and reach the anode, i.e. we observe a decrease of the signal or SEY. If the
pulse is adequately long, the effective field will decrease continuously in amplitude as
Transmission mode measurement of Diamond Secondary electron yield 48

more and more electrons are trapped. Eventually, the equilibrium state would be
reached when the trapped electron field fully cancels the applied field, and no more
secondary electrons will be able to leave the plasma range. Efforts to reduce trapping
will be further discussed in Section 5.3.
By using high-purity single crystal diamonds, the trapping centers in the
diamond bulk are limited. At a high applied field situation, the field decrease due to
the trapping is small compared to the applied field. The decrease of amplitude in each
pulse will be negligible.
Transmission mode measurement of Diamond Secondary electron yield 49

Figure 5.6: Comparison of low field (top: 0.3MV/m) and high field (bottom: 3MV/m)
secondary electron signal of single crystal diamond with 0.3mm thickness in
transmission mode.

The SEY or gain can be calculated by:
Transmission mode measurement of Diamond Secondary electron yield 50

gain = secondary current signal amplitude / primary current signal amplitude 1 +
The sign of the additional term equal to 1 added at the end of Equation (5.1) is to
reflect the negative polarity of the primary current signal.
Gain vs. field inside the diamond sample can be plotted as shown in Figure 5.7,
and this plot is a good tool for explaining the performance of the diamond amplifier

Transmission mode measurement of Diamond Secondary electron yield 51

Figure 5.7: Single crystal diamond window gain with primary electron energy ranges
from 4keV to 8keV. Primary currents are shown in the legend.

The plasma formed as each primary electron penetrates through the diamond
comprises electron-hole pairs. These will be separated under the applied field. With
no applied field the electrons and holes will all recombine with three-body scattering
or diffuse into the metal coating, leading to no gain. The electrons that make it
through the plasma region without recombination (or trapping) and arrive at the
opposite surface will contribute to the gain. According to each curve in Figure 5.7, the
Transmission mode measurement of Diamond Secondary electron yield 52

gain started with a small value under low electric field in diamond, which shows that
the recombination is significant. With the increase of the applied field, more electrons
can move away and the time needed for total separation decreases, thus the gain
increases. As the applied field increases, the charge carriers reach the saturation drift
velocity and the gain saturates. The gain under saturation only depends upon the
primary electron energy. Detailed explanation of recombination will be discussed in
Section 5.5.
With 8keV primary electron energy, the saturated gain is nearly 250. This
indicates that the diamond amplifier has the capability of increase the input current by
two orders of magnitude. The minimum applied field needed for reaching saturated
gain is less than 0.5MV/m, which corresponding to 150V on the anode in our setup.
The signal in a pulse dropping continuously for low field is due to trapping of the
electrons, and this can be avoided by detrapping methods that will be discussed in the
next Section. With a relatively fast-response circuit, the value of the peak in the
beginning of the signal corresponds to the number of electrons that are pulled out of
the plasma. Thus the value of the signal used for calculating the gain is taken at the
peak of the pulse in soon after its onset.

Transmission mode measurement of Diamond Secondary electron yield 53

5.3 Laser Detrapping
Due to the trapping mechanism diamond can easily have excessive electrons held
within potential wells. These electrons will create electric field with opposite polarity
to the applied field. The trapping centers can be impurities, grain boundaries,
distortion of the crystal lattice, etc., and can be decreased by using high purity single
crystal diamond samples.
However, during sample preparation process, the diamond is subjected to high
temperature, surface etching and metallization. These aggressive procedures may
introduce stress or impurities into the sample, and introduce trapping centers.
The probability of electrons being trapped by the trapping centers is constant,
given the large number of potential trapping centers. Thus, as current flows into the
diamond, the number of trapped electrons will increase with time. Figure 5.6 shows
the decrease of gain within the first pulse. Under a continuous pulse mode with high
repetition rate, the succeeding pulses will all be affected by the electrons trapped
during the preceding pulses. The electrons also have the possibility of escape from the
trapping centers due to applied electric field and thermal activity. So the escape
probability increases with increasing anode voltage and the time with current off
between pulses. If the applied field is high enough and/or time between pulses is long
enough to make the number of electrons released from the trapping centers
comparable with the number of electrons that are being trapped in one pulse, the
Transmission mode measurement of Diamond Secondary electron yield 54

signal will reach equilibrium. The equilibrium state is also dependent of the current
density of the primary beam. Higher current density will result in more electrons
trapped in the diamond.

Figure 5.8: Secondary electron signal of 10μs pulse width with different duty cycles.
No laser beam applied. Primary electron peak current density is 0.03A/m
and the
field applied in the diamond is 0.033MV/m.

Detrapping of the electrons in a transmission mode is made possible by applying
a laser beam to the system during the experiment. Photons will excite the trapped
Transmission mode measurement of Diamond Secondary electron yield 55

electrons. If the applied field is set to zero, these exited electrons will move under the
field of the trapped electrons. Eventually all the trapped electrons would be
Most of the trapping centers in our diamond samples are rather shallow. Photons
of 532nm (green) wavelength, which is 2.34eV in energy, are applied to observe a
significant change in gain under relatively low field. A laser pointer with <5mW
power is used to provide the detrapping light, and a slot was opened on the holder
along the path of the light to allow the photons to reach and interact with the diamond.
Transmission mode measurement of Diamond Secondary electron yield 56

Figure 5.9: Secondary electron signal of 10μs pulse width with different duty cycles.
Laser beam applied (532nm, <5mW). Primary electron peak current density is
and the field applied in the diamond is 0.033MV/m.

By comparing the corresponding curves in Figure 5.8 and Figure 5.9, it is
obvious that laser beam played an important role in increasing the signal by releasing
the electrons from the trapping centers. Both figures show that the smaller the duty
cycle, i.e. more time between pulses, the larger the signal. The following sections will
discuss laser detrapping under different conditions as well as field dependence.
Transmission mode measurement of Diamond Secondary electron yield 57

5.3.1 Current Density
The total number of trapped electrons is determined by the product of probability
of trapping and the charge density within the trapping region in the diamond. Without
laser detrapping, for higher primary current density, more electrons will be trapped.
The signal observed after equilibrium is much lower than the first pulse unless the
applied field is extremely high. The time required for the system to reach equilibrium
varies with current density, but is within the range of 1 minute under all of our
experimental conditions.
The primary beam energy and spot size is fixed using the control system of the
gun. The peak of the first pulse is recorded as the total number of electrons created,
which should be the maximum gain under such applied field. The beam is pulsed at
10Hz repetition rate and duty cycle of 0.01%.
The applied field is increased from 0MV/m to above 1.8MV/m, and signals
under the equilibrium state are recorded for gain calculation both with and without the
laser beam.

Transmission mode measurement of Diamond Secondary electron yield 58

Figure 5.10: Gain comparison of with and without laser detrapping under different
current densities. Primary electron energy fixed at 6keV.

The transverse distribution of the primary beam is near uniform, and the
diameter is fixed at 3mm. So the highest current density of the 4 cases should be
5μA/(π × 2.25mm
) ≈ 0.7A/m
. The secondary electron current density is the product
of the primary current density and the gain. With the same primary electron energy,
the maximum gain under specific applied field should be the same.
Transmission mode measurement of Diamond Secondary electron yield 59

Figure 5.10 shows the significant effect of laser detrapping in all 4 different
primary currents, or current densities since the spot sizes for all case are the same. The
gain curve with laser detrapping is very close to the first pulse gain curve, which is
the maximum limit, even under a very small field and very high current density.
Compared with the maximum, the gain obtained without laser detrapping shows a
large decrease in value under low field and even under high fields when primary
current density is high. Saturation of the gain curve can be reached without laser
detrapping, but it would cost for a much higher applied field.

5.3.2 Primary Energy
Primary electron energy determines the saturated gain as discussed in Section 5.2.
With the current density fixed this time, but changing the primary electron energy
from 5keV to 8keV, and the secondary electron current density changes
correspondingly. The laser still brings the equilibrium gain close to the maximum gain
at each applied field.
To reach equilibrium state, the set up without laser detrapping requires a much
longer time for each data point. In the measurements, gain curves without laser were
only taken for 6keV and 7keV. 5keV and 8keV still show the same trend.

Transmission mode measurement of Diamond Secondary electron yield 60

Figure 5.11: Gain comparison of with and without laser detrapping under different
primary electron energies. The primary current density is fixed at 0.04A/m

The maximum gain increases with the primary electron energy, and so does the
secondary electron current. As shown in Figure 5.11, without laser detrapping, the
gain requires about 1MV/m of applied field to saturate in the 6keV case and even
more in 7keV case, but with the laser, it only requires <0.5MV/m. The gain with laser
is much closer to the expected value than the gain without laser before reaching
Transmission mode measurement of Diamond Secondary electron yield 61


5.3.3 Repetition Rate
If the secondary current density is the same by fixing the primary electron energy
and primary peak current density, the gain under low field will be determined by the
time lapse between pulses. For a more comprehensive study compared to Figure 5.8
and Figure 5.9, Figure 5.12 below shows the laser effect on gain under different duty

Transmission mode measurement of Diamond Secondary electron yield 62

Figure 5.12: Gain comparison of with and without laser detrapping under various
pulse repetition rates. The pulse width for each measurement is fixed at 10μs.
Primary current density fixed at 0.036A/m
and energy fixed at 6keV.

Laser detrapping is essential to maintain a high gain under high repetition rates.
In the experiment for the measurement above, the pulse width is kept at 10μs
continuously. Without the laser, the decrease in signal is rather trivial for the duty
cycle of 1E-4. However, it became noticeable for duty cycle of 1E-3, and
Transmission mode measurement of Diamond Secondary electron yield 63

unacceptable for 1E-2. For a duty cycle of 1E-2, the repetition rate would be 1000Hz,
which is still very low compared with the frequency in most operating electron guns.
Laser detrapping shows significant increase in gain in transmission mode
measurements. With the correct selection of wavelength, the trapped electrons can be
released by photon-electron interaction. The laser used for detrapping is 523nm in
wavelength, which is corresponding to 2.34eV. This energy is less than half of the
band gap of diamond, which is ~5.7eV, and this ensures that all secondary electrons
are created by the primary electrons rather than by photons. Other wavelengths have
not been test quantitatively yet.

5.4 Energy lost in metal coating and estimation of energy needed for each e-h
Primary electrons lose their partial energy in the metal coating, and the amount
lost depends on the metal variety and thickness. Only the remaining energy
contributes to the value of maximum gain in all curves in Figure 5.7.
According to Ref [24, 25], the energy needed to create one e-h pair is fixed. The
saturated gain should be a linear function of the primary energy. The intercept on
horizontal axis in Figure 5.13 should be the energy lost in the metal coating E
. The
data of the maximum gain is averaged over data from 1MV/m to 2.33MV/m. For a
coating of ~50nm Pt on top of ~30nm Ti, the energy lost is E
=3.29 ± 0.15keV.
Transmission mode measurement of Diamond Secondary electron yield 64

From the linear model approximation of the incident electron energy loss [26],
the stopping powers for electron energy of ranged from 4keV to 8keV for Pt and Ti

2 2
12 / 20 / ,
Pt Pt Ti Ti
MeV cm g MeV cm g
x x p p
~ · ~ ·

where ρ
is the density of Pt and ρ
is the density of Ti, and
≈50nm and Δx
≈30nm are the thickness of the two layers of metal respectively.
Then the total energy loss in the metal coating calculated from this model is:
1.556 .
total Pt Ti
E E E keV A = A +A ~
The discrepancy between the linear model and the transmission measurement result is
over 100%, which is very big. This is due to the thickness measurement of the metal
coating is not accurate, and should be verified.
Transmission mode measurement of Diamond Secondary electron yield 65

Figure 5.13: Maximum gain of different primary electron energy.

The energy needed to create one e-h pair is:

primaryelectronenergy-energylost in metal
Transmission mode measurement of Diamond Secondary electron yield 66

Table 5.1: Energy needed for create one electron hole pair.
Primary Energy [keV] Energy [eV]

4 19.80±1.29
5 19.25±1.61
6 20.06±1.82
7 19.63±3.67
8 20.33±2.60

The average is 19.82 ± 4.93eV. Former simulation approaches reported smaller
values of 14.66eV and 17eV [24, 25]. The difference is possibly due simplification of
the models and system error of the experiment.

5.5 Recombination of the charges in diamond
Diamond is an indirect band gap material, and its electron band structure has
been published in 1966 by W. Saslow et. al. as shown in Figure 5.14 [27].

Transmission mode measurement of Diamond Secondary electron yield 67

Figure 5.14: Diamond electron band structure.

Figure 5.14 shows a calculated band structure of the diamond which agrees with
experiment. The figure covered a primitive cell of the reciprocal lattice in the
frequency domain, or Brillouin zone, and each line indicates a different energy band.
The vertical axis is the energy of the electron with 0eV as the Fermi level in diamond,
and the horizontal axis is the value of wave vector k in the reciprocal lattice. The zone
center is Γ. L and X are boundary points at (2π/a)(½, ½, ½) and (2π/a)(100). Λ and Δ
are two axes along ΓL and ΓX directions respectively. The subscript labeled the
number of energy band.
Transmission mode measurement of Diamond Secondary electron yield 68

The band gap of the diamond is:

25 1
25 15
Γ - Δ = 5.4eV minimum value.
Γ - Γ = 7.3eV

Electrons present in the conduction band quickly settle into the energy minimum
of that band. For indirect band gap materials, electrons in this minimum cannot rejoin
the valence band by simply losing energy, or radiative recombination. They require
some source of momentum allowing them to observe both the laws of conservation of
energy and of momentum and fall into the valence band. The only way to promote
this recombination is to simultaneously emit (or absorb) a phonon that compensates
for the missing momentum vector, or a three-body collision with the impurities in the
diamond. However, such a combined transition has a very low probability.
Another possible path for the secondary electrons to recombine is to move to the
metal layer by diffusion. The secondary electrons and holes diffuse under Brownian
motion once they are created. Any electron or hole crossing the diamond-metal
interface will be recombined immediately in the metal layer and the defect rich
diamond near the metal boundary. Given that the plasma is formed tangent to the
interface and all charge particles are moving with random walks, the electrons and
holes are merged into the metal continuously through this diffusion process.
To illuminate the process, let us apply some numbers. Assume the SEY of the
primary electron is 100, and initial RMS radius of the plasma after thermal relaxation
Transmission mode measurement of Diamond Secondary electron yield 69

is 10nm. The density of the charged cloud under this assumption would be:

25 3
( 0) ( 0) 2.4 10 /
e h
n t n t n m = = = = = × .
The Debye radius of this cloud should be:
1/ 2
4.1 10 0.41
k T
m nm
q N
| |
= ~ × =
\ .

under room temperature, which is more than 20 times smaller than the dimension of
the cloud. Therefore the charges can be considered as plasma at the initial state.
The plasma frequencies for both electron and hole clouds are:

2 2
0 0
, ,
0 0
p e p h
e h
n e n e
m m
e e
c c
= = ,
where m
and m
are effective masses of electron and hole inside the diamond. The
mobility of the two charge carriers are comparable and both are in the 10
m/s scale
[29, 30], therefore it is reasonable to assume the effective masses are similar and both
close to the rest mass of electron. Plug in the values for the equation above, the
plasma frequencies should both be ~2.8×10
For applied DC (or slowly varying) field, the attenuation constant is:

nm o
~ ~ ,
which is much larger than the RMS radius of the plasma.
This indicates that the applied field penetrates through the full length of the
Transmission mode measurement of Diamond Secondary electron yield 70

electron and hole clouds at the initial state without much decrease in the amplitude.
The plasma would start to separate under applied electric field.
As the electric field pulls the electron cloud away from the interface to prevent
loss of the electrons, the diffusion process, on the contrary, will keep pushing
electrons into the metal to be recombined. The eventual gain measured in the
experiment is the compromise of the two motions. High electric field can accelerate
the electrons to their saturation velocity away from the incident surface within a short
period of time, so that fewer electrons are lost. Therefore, the gain is small under low
electric field, and increases rapidly with the field amplitude until the drift velocity of
the electrons can reach the saturation velocity. The gain will not change as much after
the electron drift velocity saturates within a short distance. This explains the gain
curve shape in Figure 5.7.
Emission Mode Measurement of Diamond Secondary Electron Yield 71

6.1 Measurement setup
The emission mode measurement system reproduces the setup of the
transmission mode measurement discussed in Chapter 5, with the exception that we
introduced a vacuum gap between the copper anode and the diamond surface, and the
termination of this surface is changed to hydrogen instead of a metal coating.

Figure 6.1: Simple sketch of emission mode measurement principle. Either side can
be grounded.

Emission Mode Measurement of Diamond Secondary Electron Yield 72

With hydrogen termination, the NEA surface will allow the secondary electrons
to escape into vacuum and get collected by the anode. An amplifier circuit was
designed and added for signal collection. With this improvement, the response time
decreased from ~1μs into ~20ns.
The emitted electrons can be measured by an oscilloscope connected to either the
anode or cathode. In the anode connection measurements, the anode is grounded and
the metal coating on the incident side is negatively biased. The effective energy of the
primary electrons contributed to the emission is calculated as
- -
effective primary metal lost
E E U E = ,
where E
is the primary electron energy at the exit of the gun, U
is the
negative bias voltage on the metal coating, and E
is the energy lost in the metal
The grounding of the anode is designed for application of a phosphor screen and
a CCD camera. If a focusing device is applied between the anode and the phosphor
screen and the distance is carefully chosen, the thermal emittance of the diamond
amplifier can be measured by imaging the beam spot size on the CCD camera. The
design for this measurement will be discussed in Chapter 7.

Emission Mode Measurement of Diamond Secondary Electron Yield 73

6.2 DC beam or continuous long pulse measurements
The trapping issue in emission mode measurement is more problematic due to
the critical process of hydrogenation. For the hydrogenation process, the diamond is
heated to above 800°C to break the carbon-oxygen bond and leave free dangling
carbon bond on the surface. Hydrogen gas is broken into atoms (or “cracked”) and
impacts the diamond surface. We use a commercial thermal gas cracker (Mantis
MGC-75) to carry out this process which leads to create negative affinity surface
(NEA) on the diamond. During the formation of carbon-hydrogen bonds, it is likely to
have residual dangling carbon bonds on the surface without any hydrogen attached.
The dangling bonds are capable of trapping the secondary electrons transferred to the
hydrogenated surface. The field applied to the diamond during experiments is about
1MV/m, and to cancel such field, the trapped electron density only needs to be
, which is about 1 trapped electron per 10,000 conventional unit cells on the
surface. This is a very small number considering the occupation of hydrogen coverage
during CVD diamond [111] surface growth can be as low as 86% [33].
With a continuous primary electron beam, sufficient time is allowed for all
possible trapping events to occur. The signal measured on the anode side comprises
the trapping and releasing of the electrons in the diamond. The signal detected is
purely caused by emitted electrons and has no capacitive coupling components.
Emission Mode Measurement of Diamond Secondary Electron Yield 74

Figure 6.2: Emission mode gain with DC primary beam.

The signal is much smaller than the transmission mode measurements, and green
laser had no effect on the signal. Since the dangling bond state energy is more than
1.3eV [34, 35], the green laser detrapping is not as effective in emission mode,
because the electrons are trapped much deeper by dangling bonds on the surface than
the trapping under the surface caused by impurities and stress in lattice. The signal
will increase with better hydrogenation, which will reduce the number of dangling
bonds on the surface.
Emission Mode Measurement of Diamond Secondary Electron Yield 75

6.3 Short-pulse measurements
Despite the small signal in the DC beam mode, the diamond performance is
significantly better in short-pulse measurements. As in transmission mode
measurements, electrons in the beginning of the first pulse applied to the diamond will
experience a strong, unshielded applied field, and have much higher possibility to
emit. The gain in the beginning of the pulse is much higher than the value measured
under equilibrium state.
In real applications, the applied pulse would be very short. As an example, the
proposed e-cooling facility in Brookhaven National Laboratory has a frequency of
703MHz. The pulse from the source must be much shorter than 1ns. Therefore the
performance of the diamond amplifier with short pulses is more important and
For short pulse measurements, the diamond was first set at neutral. Shortly after
(<3s) the electric field was applied, a train of pulses of 40μs was sent to impact the
diamond from the electron gun. With the fast response signal collection circuit, only
the SEY of the first pulse was recorded. This ensures that the front segment of the
pulse experienced the field as applied, and the change of the signal due to trapping
and shielding of the field is reflected later in the pulse.
Emission Mode Measurement of Diamond Secondary Electron Yield 76

6.3.1 Delay time dependence
During pulse measurements, the diamond is first bombarded with continuous
primary electrons and no electric field is applied. Any previously trapped charge will
cause attract opposite species to transport through the diamond and recombine. This
will „clean up‟ the diamond electrically and achieve a neutral state after a very short
Emission Mode Measurement of Diamond Secondary Electron Yield 77

Figure 6.3: First pulse gain under room temperature (23°C) with different field and
effective energy for each pulse. Effective energy is the energy of the primary beam
excluding the energy loss in the metal coating.

High purity single crystal diamond is a good insulator; however free
charge-carriers inside the diamond that move according to the applied field, as in the
application of diamond detectors. There are also few trap centers in the bulk to trap
the charge carriers and therefore cause shielding to the applied field. In pulsed
measurements, the time delay of the first pulse after applying the electrical field is
critical to the amplitude of the gain.
Emission Mode Measurement of Diamond Secondary Electron Yield 78

Figure 6.4: Secondary signal with different delays for the primary electron after
applying the DC field.

Figure 6.4 shows the difference between two delay times, <1s and 3s. For all
four applied field strengths, the first pulses with longer delay time have smaller gain
at the beginning of the pulse and decreased under approximately the same rate with
the shorter delay time pulses. The gain at the beginning of the pulse is mainly defined
by the existing field in the diamond when the pulse is applied, and the decrease
Emission Mode Measurement of Diamond Secondary Electron Yield 79

afterwards shows trapping by the diamond as discussed above.
Notice that the delay time effect is significant here on the scale of seconds,
which is very long compared to the eventual use of the diamond amplifier. Thus the
data above with long time scale is just to show the exaggerated difference, but this
will probably not be an issue in the real application.

6.3.2 Temperature dependence
As the diamond samples are pure single crystal diamonds, the trap centers‟
density in the bulk is very small. This is demonstrated in the transmission
measurements where the signals are much higher than that in the emission mode.
There is another mechanism of trapping and possibly this is the dominant reason for
the signal‟s decrease with time, that is the effect of the dangling bonds. The dangling
bonds in emission measurements are serious obstacle for achieving a large gain.
Before the primary electron would reach the diamond, the dangling bonds of the
surface atom would capture electrons from nearby carbon atoms. This will generate a
hole in the valence band. The hole moves to the cathode surface under the influence
of the applied electric field. The time it takes the holes to traverse the thickness of the
diamond is under one nanosecond, and this will lead to charging up of the emitting
face and thus to a decrease of the field of the diamond. This will result in a gain
decrease due to the density of the dangling bonds.
Emission Mode Measurement of Diamond Secondary Electron Yield 80

Nevertheless, the density of ionized dangling bonds is a function of temperature
in materials, and this will be critical because the diamond amplifier will be operated at
a low temperatures in actual applications [36].

Figure 6.5: Emission signal of the diamond amplifier at 200°C.

In Figure 6.5, the diamond sample was heated to 250°C and kept under this
specific temperature for more than 3 hours to remove the H
O molecules attached on
the hydrogenated surface. The heating procedure leads to H
O removal from the
H-terminated surface of the CVD diamond as described in reference [37]. The NEA
Emission Mode Measurement of Diamond Secondary Electron Yield 81

surface of the diamond should be improved after the heating cycle. To ensure the
monolayer of hydrogen is not covered by atoms from the residual gas, the sample was
reheated to 200°C and kept under such temperature during the experiment.
Comparing with Figure 6.3, which shows room temperature (23°C) results, the gain at
the beginning of the pulse in the high temperature (200°C) environment is much lower.
Also in high temperature signals, the decrease of the gain is much faster than that
decrease observed at room temperature. This indicates that the trapping effect on the
surface of the diamond is more significant under higher temperature. Higher
temperature with lower SEY is consistent with the dangling bonds density positive
dependence over the temperature.
Under the same conditions, liquid nitrogen cooled system should give higher
gain than the above two cases.
Emission Mode Measurement of Diamond Secondary Electron Yield 82

Figure 6.6: Emission signal of the diamond amplifier at -140°C.

For the gain results shown in Figure 6.6, the sample and holder are cooled by a
liquid nitrogen cooling loop, and the temperature of the whole system is calibrated to
be at -140°C. The gain in this case is higher than Figure 6.3 under high field. With
high SEY, the system can still maintain the gain for a fairly long time. This indicates
that the field does not decrease as fast as under higher temperatures, namely many
more electrons are emitted within the pulse. Hence, to obtain the best performance of
the diamond amplifier, it should be operated with the ambient temperature as low as
Emission Mode Measurement of Diamond Secondary Electron Yield 83

Thus with proper hydrogenation, the diamond amplifier will achieve reasonable
gain (>50) in nanosecond or shorter pulses under low temperature.

6.3.3 Laser effect
In transmission measurements, the laser helped improve the gain of the diamond.
But under emission mode, the main concern comes from the dangling bond on the
hydrogenated surface. The photon‟s energy is above the energy gap between the
dangling bond and the top of the valence band. So the laser increases the ionization
probability of the dangling bonds. The photons also will heat up the surface
temperature by photon-electron interaction, and this will also increase the dangling
bond ionization by a small degree.
Figure 6.7, Figure 6.8, and Figure 6.9 are three emission temperature
measurements with laser applied and only temperature difference. All figures are
plotted with the same scale for easier comparison. All three figures show much lower
gain and faster falling edge than the corresponding temperature with no laser applied
in Sections 6.3.1 and 6.3.2. Therefore trapping centers considered under transmission
mode are less effective to the signal in emission mode, and photons create more
dangling bond ionization. The shielding from the dangling bond ionization is more
serious under emission. This is reasonable considering the high purity and careful
surface treatment of the diamond samples.
Emission Mode Measurement of Diamond Secondary Electron Yield 84

Figure 6.7: Room temperature (23°C) measurement with laser applied (532nm laser,
Emission Mode Measurement of Diamond Secondary Electron Yield 85

Figure 6.8: High temperature (200°C) measurement with laser applied (532nm laser,

Emission Mode Measurement of Diamond Secondary Electron Yield 86

Figure 6.9: Low temperature (-140°C) measurement with laser applied (532nm laser,
Focusing on the shape and amplitude of the signal, it is noticeable that the higher
the temperature, the less the difference between with and without laser results. This
also proves the dangling bond charging density is highly dependent on the
temperature. The thermal energy brought by photons is very small due to the low
power of the laser. Hence under higher temperature, the dangling bond density is
defined mainly by the heating source applied instead of the laser.

Thermal emittance measurement design 87

The ultimate emittance of a laser-photocathode gun is limited by the thermal
emittance. As laser shaping techniques improve, this limit is becoming more
important. The thermal emittance of positive electron affinity photocathodes in terms
of the thermal electron energy is a large fraction of an electron volt, depending on the
type of photocathode. The diamond amplified photocathode, being a negative electron
affinity (NEA) cathode, promises to deliver a very small thermal emittance.
Theoretical expectations as well as measurements in the reflection mode point
towards a temperature less than 0.1eV. This has never been measured in a
transmission mode. Therefore the aim is to measure the thermal emittance of
hydrogenated NEA diamond.
The thermal energy of the secondary emission beam depends on the
characteristic of the diamond sample, the properties of the hydrogenated surface and
the electric field in the diamond, and yet it is expected that the thermal energy is not a
strong function of the field. The measurement system should have the ability to
measure this small emittance.
The design is shown in Figure 7.1. The beam coming out of the diamond NEA
surface is accelerated towards an anode. The anode has a small hole, to collimate an
Thermal emittance measurement design 88

output beam. The output beam is focused on a screen by a solenoid. The main idea of
the measurement is to compensate the strong linear defocusing effect at the anode by
applying a linear focusing lens and measure the waist spot size downstream. The
waist spot size is only a function of the thermal emittance and is less affected by the
other components. Therefore, we can compare the measurement with simulation [38].
It can also be calibrated with known thermal emittance electron source such as a
thermal cathode.

Figure 7.1: Setup design for thermal energy measurement of diamond secondary

7.1 Methods
Common to all possible focusing schemes for thermal energy measurement is the
application of a small aperture on the anode plate to limit the beam size, such that the
Thermal emittance measurement design 89

beam size after a drift distance is measurable. In addition, the field applied for
acceleration is constrained by the need to obtain a good gain in the diamond amplifier.
The schematic layout of the cathode and anode is shown in Figure 7.2.

Figure 7.2: Acceleration of the secondary electrons by applying a high voltage across
the diamond and anode.

7.2 Limitations
The aperture in the anode applies a defocusing force on the electron beam, which
is mainly a linear force with a small component of nonlinear aberration. A larger
aperture will lead to a stronger aberration, and will cause an increase in the beam spot
Thermal emittance measurement design 90

size on the screen. Space charge is another issue in increasing the spot size. A small
aperture in the anode also leads to a lower current with smaller space charge effect,
increasing the accuracy of the measurement. On the other hand this will make the
imaging more difficult. From simulation results in Figure 7.3, we choose the upper
limit for each effect.
Thermal emittance measurement design 91

Figure 7.3: Aberration and space charge effects on beam spot size on screen.

Thermal emittance measurement design 92

The upper limit of the aperture and current is determined by a choice leading to a
small change in the spot size. From the simulation above, an aperture radius of 100μm
and a current of 10μA are chosen.

7.3 Comparison of lenses
The criterion of choosing the focusing lens is the growth rate in beam waist spot
size with respect to thermal energy of the cathode. A large growth rate as a function of
temperature will minimize the system errors. Results from simulation of different
kinds of focusing lenses are shown in Figure 7.4 and Figure 7.5. All curves in both
plots are simulated with same distance from anode to lens (2cm) and from lens to
screen (25.5cm) for comparison. In both plots, the solenoid has a faster growth rate
compared to other lenses. In Figure 7.4, the growth rate of a 0.5cm aperture Einzel
lens is comparable with a solenoid, but the nonlinear effect due to small aperture is
significant, and this will result in large systematic error for spot size measurement.
The simulation also shows that the closer the lens is to the anode and the further is the
screen location, the better the resolution.

Thermal emittance measurement design 93

Figure 7.4: Comparison of solenoid and two Einzel lenses.

Thermal emittance measurement design 94

Figure 7.5: Comparison of solenoid and two quadrupoles.

From above simulation results, it can be concluded that solenoid is the final choice
of focusing lens.

7.4 Shielding
All components in the measurement setup have low permeability. Shielding the
solenoid is very important to prevent a magnetic force on the electrons during
acceleration, which will reduce the resolution. Figure 7.6 shows the performance of a
solenoid with and without shielding, and compares with hard edge field.
Thermal emittance measurement design 95

Figure 7.6: Solenoid with different shielding.

Shielding material of 1mm thick with relative permeability μ
~20,000 around the
solenoid coil will decrease the magnetic field at the anode to <1.5Gauss. Solenoid
without shielding gives the worst resolution (green), while the resolution of solenoid
with shielding of μ
=20,000 (blue) is comparable with hard edge ideal case (red).

7.5 Alignment
The setup design is based on highly accurate alignment of the anode pinhole and
the solenoid center axis. It is very important to have the secondary electron beam,
Thermal emittance measurement design 96

after passing through the anode pinhole, symmetrically distributed around the
solenoid center axis in the transverse direction. This avoids distortion of the waist spot
on the screen.
During the alignment, a laser beam is passed through the system downstream of
the electron path. Along the laser path, the anode pinhole and three additional
250μm diameter pinholes are used to conduct the alignment. Two are mounted on the
center of the flanges at each end of the system. The third is located at the center of
the start point of the solenoid field. With the laser beam passing all four pinholes,
the offset of secondary electron beam away from the solenoid center axis is
maintained to be less than 150μm.

Thermal emittance measurement design 97

Figure 7.7: The offset magnetic field to the center of the electron beam and the waist.
FWHM difference according to the offset. Thermal energy of the beam is 0.1eV.

This procedure also ensures that the solenoid axis is perpendicular to the anode
surface, and the tilt angle can be controlled to better than 5mrad.
Figure 7.7 shows the simulation of the beam waist FWHM change due to a
different offsets of the electron beam for 0.1eV thermal energy. Thus the error caused
by offset after alignment should be controlled within 15%. A quadrupole lens may be
added to the drift section for additional correction so as to lower the error even more.
Thermal emittance measurement design 98

7.6 Conclusion
With the design of the solenoid lens based measurement system shown in Figure
7.1 and the calibrated simulation plot of FWHM waist spot size vs. thermal energy, a
CCD camera with pixel size ~5μm should be able to analyze the beam waist spot size
down to 50μm diameter. Thus, we should be able to determine the thermal energy of
diamond secondary emission to about 0.01eV.
Careful alignment and shielding is very important in minimizing the systematic
The limit of thermal energy measurement from aberration of aperture of anode
and space charge effect is 100μm in radius and 10μA for secondary electrons
By changing the focusing strength of lens, the waist of electron beam will be
imaged on screen at a specific location. For good resolution, lens should be as close to
the anode as possible, and the screen should be relatively far away from the lens.

Summary and conclusion 99

The Diamond Amplified Photocathode (DAP) is a novel approach to generating
electrons. By following the primary electron beam, which is generated by traditional
electron sources, with an amplifier, the electron beam available to the eventual
application is increased by 1 to 2 orders of magnitude in current.
Diamond has a very wide band gap of 5.47eV which allows for a good negative
electron affinity with simple hydrogenation, diamond can hold more than 2000MV/m
field before breakdown. Diamond also provides the best rigidity among all materials.
These two characters offer the capability of applying high voltage across very thin
diamond film to achieve high SEY and desired emission phase. The diamond
amplifier also is capable of handling a large heat load by conduction and
sub-nanosecond pulse input.
The preparation of the diamond amplifier includes thinning and polishing,
cleaning with acid etching, metallization, and hydrogenation.
The best mechanical polishing available can provide high purity single crystal
diamond films with no less than 100μm thickness and <15nm Ra surface roughness.
The ideal thickness for 700MHz beam is ~30μm, which requires further thinning with
RIE or laser ablation. RIE can achieve atomic layer removal precision and roughness
Summary and conclusion 100

eventually, but the time consumption for this procedure is very significant. Laser
ablation proved that with <266nm ps laser beam, the ablation process on the diamond
can easily achieve removing a few microns per hour from the surface and <100nm
roughness. For amplifier application, laser ablation is an adequate and efficient
process to make ultra thin diamond wafers following mechanical polishing.
Hydrogenation will terminate the diamond surface with monolayer of hydrogen,
and form NEA so that secondary electrons in the conduction band can escape into the
vacuum. The method is using hydrogen cracker to strike hydrogen atoms onto the
bare diamond surface to form H-C bonds.
Two independent experiments were carried out to determine the transport of the
electrons within the diamond and their emission at the surface. In transmission mode
measurements, the diamond amplifier was coated with metal on both sides, so results
simply depend only on the electron transport within the diamond. The SEY for this
mode provides one secondary electron per 20eV energy, which gives the gain of more
than 200 for 4.7keV (effective energy) primary electrons under 2MV/m. Laser
detrapping can help the signal maintain the gain with 10μs pulse and duty cycle of
. In emission mode measurements, in which the diamond is prepared as in
the actual application, the SEY is ~20 for 700eV (effective energy) primary electrons
under 1.21MV/m.
The electric field applied and the primary electron energy is limited by the
Summary and conclusion 101

experiment setup, but the results show good trend toward large gain under high field.
Thermal emittance of the diamond secondary emission is critical for the beam
application. A careful design is setup to measure with very fine precision and accuracy
of 0.01eV.

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Particle Accelerator Conference, Albuquerque, NM, 2007.

J. Y. Zhai
, C. X. Tang, S. X. Zheng, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, P. R. China

A Multipactor Electron Gun (MEG) is developed for
the high power microwave generation in the Accelerator
Lab of Tsinghua University. This paper presents the recent
experimental results of the S-band MEG using hydrogen-
terminated and CsI-terminated CVD diamond cathodes.
The gun design, cathode preparation and high power
experiment are described. An electron beam with 5 μs
macro-pulse, 10 Hz repetition rate, greater than 900 mA
beam current was obtained.
Multipactor is a resonant secondary electron emission
discharge frequently observed in accelerator structures,
couplers, RF windows et al. It is usually undesirable and
will be suppressed in most cases. However there are a few
applications based on this effect, such as the multipactor
electron guns (MEG) [1-6], microwave frequency
multipliers [7], radar receiver protectors [8], multipactor
ion pump [9] and flat thin display [10].
The MEG can be seen as an improvement of the
thermionic RF gun. By substituting the thermionic
cathode with a secondary electron emission cathode, and
the beam exit hole with a secondary electron emission
grid, the back bombardment of the thermionic RF gun is
used to form the multipactor process. The electron beam
is produced, amplified and bunched simultaneously in the
cathode-grid gap. When the current in the cavity reaches a
steady level by space charge and beam loading effects, the
outgoing electron beams will be the saturation emission
The advantages of MEG are: 1) short duration, high
current electron beams due to self-bunching mechanism
of multipactor; 2) fast response, simple structure, long
lifetime and tolerance to contamination due to cold
cathode. The MEG can form compact and efficient high
power microwave generator systems. It can also be used
in the small industrial and medical accelerators. By
replacing the grid with a two-surface hydrogen-
terminated single crystal thin diamond film, the MEG will
produce electron beams of even larger current density and
good beam quality, which may be used as a high
brightness injector. This scheme is similar to the
secondary emission enhanced photoinjector [11].
The first MEG was designed in 1969 by Gallagher [1],
and then different kinds of such RF guns were developed
[2-5]. Among these guns, only the Micro-Pulse Electron
Gun (S-band) reached a high macro-pulse current density
of 10 A / cm
, but the cathode material was not mentioned
in the literature [3]. In this paper, a multipactor electron
gun with CVD diamond cathode is presented, including
the gun description, cathode preparation and the high
power experiment. The aim of this study is to select and
prepare the appropriate cathode material in order to make
the MEG beam current as high as possible.
The MEG is composed of a cylindrical RF cavity
working in TM
mode, a secondary electron emission
cathode and its position adjuster, a secondary electron
emission grid with transmittance of 40 %, a waveguide
and a RF window (the picture of the MEG is shown in
Figure 1).

Figure 1: Photograph of the Multipactor Electron Gun.
The gap distance between the cathode and the grid is
adjustable; as a result, the natural frequency of the cavity
changes rapidly. Since no frequency tuner is designed, the
MEG usually works in detuning conditions.
RF parameters are measured before hot tests. At the gap
distance of 2.73 mm, the natural frequency is 2806 MHz,
the unloaded quality factor is 1972, the unloaded coupling
is 3.3, the shunt impedance is 0.175 MΩ.
The preparation of high performance secondary
electron emission material is the key point of making an
MEG. According to multipactor dynamics, the MEG has
two operation statuses [12]: 1). Small current (~ 100 mA)
status corresponding to low impact energy (< 2 keV). 2).
large current (~ 1 A – 10 A) status corresponding to high
impact energy (>5 keV). The MEGs in references [1] and
[2] worked in the first status, while the MPGs in [3] and
[4] and the MEG in this study worked in the second one.
When MEG works in large current status, it has to use
materials having high second cross-over point energy,
*Work supported by the National High-Tech Research and Development Program of China
Proceedings of EPAC 2006, Edinburgh, Scotland THPCH174
07 Accelerator Technology
T26 Subsystems, Technology and Components, Other
which is corresponding to high escape depth of the
material. Diamond is one of the best cathode materials for
The excellent secondary electron emission property of
CVD diamond films is due to the negative electron
affinity formed by the hydrogen or CsI termination at the
film surface [13]. The secondary electron emission yield
is also dependent on the crystal quality which is mainly
determined by the thickness of the CVD films [14].
The cathodes used in the MEG are polycrystalline
diamond films on Mo substrate grown by microwave
plasma assisted chemical vapour deposition (MPCVD).
The growth parameters are shown in Table 1.

Table 1: Growth Parameters of CVD Diamond Films
Gas Supply 1 % CH
12 hrs.
Substrate Thickness 0.06 mm
Substrate Temperature 870 °C
Microwave Power 1700 W
Boron Doping (B
) 0.2 %

The Boron doping is to provide conductivity for the
diamond films. The hydrogenation procedure involved
exposure to H
plasma for 30 minutes while the cesiation
procedure involved exposure to CsI vapour. Figure 2
shows the SEM image of the film. The thickness of the
film is about 5 μm, and the grain size is about 0.5μm.

Figure 2: SEM image of the CVD diamond film.
When the RF power in the cavity (or the corresponding
gap voltage) grows to the susceptive region and the
transient beam loading is just appropriate, the multipactor
discharge will occur [15]. The method of the high power
experiment is to adjust the gap distance in order to fit the
cathode material requirement and in the same time change
the power level of the RF source to initiate the
multipactor process.
The high power experiment system is composed of an
E2V MG5349 magnetron (frequency range 2993 MHz -
3002 MHz, peak output power 3.1 MW), circulators,
directional couplers, vacuum pumps and other necessary
parts. The emission electron beam is collected by a
faraday cup with a bias voltage of +50 V. The forward RF
power from the directional coupler and the macro-pulse
current from the faraday cup are measured by a Tektronix
7404B oscilloscope. The repetition rate is 10 Hz. The
pressure remained ~ 10
Pa during the experiment. At the
distance of 2.5 mm, the waveforms are shown in Figure 3
and 4.

Figure 3: Beam current of MEG with hydrogen
terminated CVD diamond cathode (bottom) and RF
power delivered to the cavity (top), both on a 1μs / div.
time scale.

Figure 4: Beam current of MEG with CsI terminated
CVD diamond cathode (bottom) and RF power delivered
to the cavity (top), both on a 1μs / div. time scale.
The macro-pulse current of the hydrogen terminated
and CsI terminated CVD diamond cathode is 920 mA and
600 mA respectively. The emission current density of the
hydrogen terminated diamond cathode is 1.2 A / cm
, and
the micro-pulse current density is estimated to be 12 A /
with the duration of 30 ps.
The emission current decreases rapidly both for
hydrogen terminated and CsI terminated CVD diamond
films. This is caused by the secondary electron emission
yield declination due to continuous high current density
electron bombardment. The emission may be restored or
THPCH174 Proceedings of EPAC 2006, Edinburgh, Scotland
3204 07 Accelerator Technology
T26 Subsystems, Technology and Components, Other
enhanced if the surface is exposed to hydrogen or CsI
environment [16-18]. This hydrogen gas feed experiment
is now in progress in our lab in order to maintain the
performance and extend the lifetime of the diamond
cathode. But the graphitization of the diamond films by
the hydrogen ions may be a new problem [18].
We are also investigating the other robust cathode
materials such as OFHC copper, Cu-Al-Mg alloy [19],
Pd-Ba alloy and MgO films [20], which may be used in
MEG for the small industrial and medical linear
A multipactor electron gun has been designed, built and
tested in the Accelerator Lab of Tsinghua University, and
a 920 mA pulse current, 5 μs pulse length electron beam
has been obtained using the boron doped hydrogen
terminated CVD diamond film cathodes. The cathode
lifetime is under further investigation.
The authors are grateful to Prof. W. Z. Tang and his
colleagues at the University of Science and Technology
Beijing for preparing the CVD diamond films.
[1] Gallagher W J. The multipactor electron gun. In:
[2] Liska D J. Multipactoring electron gun for high duty
linacs. In: Proceedings of IEEE, 59(8), 1971. 1253-
[3] Mako F M. Electron gun. European Patent
Application, EP 0809271 A2, 1997-11-26
[4] Len L K, Mako F M. Self-bunching electron guns. In:
Proceedings of the 1999 Particle Accelerator
[5] Guharay S K, Len L K, Mako F M. High-current
micro-pulse electron guns and accelerator
applications. In: Proceedings of the 2001 Particle
[6] Galdetskiy A V, Sazonov B V. Theoretical and
experimental investigation of cold emitters for
alenotron amplifiers. In: Proceedings of the 12th
International Conference on Microwave and
Telecommunication Technology (CriMiCo 2002).
[7] Mako F M. Electron gun having multiple transmitting
and emitting sections. US Patent, 6633129, 2003-10-
[8] Carlisle T P. X band high power multipactor receiver
protector. IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory
[9] Yokoo K, Ono S. High-speed ion pump with a
multipactor cathode-the multipactor ion pump.
[10] Dijk R, Vissenberg G, Zwart S. A flat thin display
with RF electron generation. Journal of the Society
[11] Chang X Y, Ben-Zvi I, Burrill A, et al. Study of
secondary emission enhanced photoinjector. In:
Proceedings of 2005 Particle Accelerator Conference.
[12] Zhai J Y. Initial experimental study of the
multipactor electron gun. Master’s Thesis. Beijing:
[13] Yater J E, Shih A. Secondary electron emission
characteristics of single-crystal and polycrystalline
diamond. Journal of Applied Physics, 2000, 87(11):
[14] Dvorkin V V, Dzbanovsky N N, Suetin N V, et al.
Secondary electron emission from CVD diamond
films. Diamond and Related Materials, 2003, 12:
[15] Kishek R A. Interaction of multipactor discharge and
RF structures: [PhD thesis]. Ann Arbor: University of
[16] Bekker T L, Dayton J A, Gilmour A S, et al.
Observation of secondary electron emission from
diamond films. IEEE IEDM Tech. Dig, 1992, 92:
[17] Mearini G T, Krainsky I L, Dayton Jr J A.
Investigation of diamond films for electronic devices.
[18] Mearini G T, Krainsky I L, Wang Y X et al.
Fabrication of an electron multiplier utilizing
diamond films. Thin Solid Films, 1994, 253: 151-156
[19] Zhai J Y, Tang C X, Zheng S X, et al. Multipactor
experiment on a Micro-Pulse Electron Gun. High
Energy Physics and Nuclear Physics, 2006, 30(2):
[20] Zhai J Y, Tang C X, Zheng S X. Experimental study
on the beam dynamics of Micro-Pulse Electron Gun.
High Energy Physics and Nuclear Physics, 2006,
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Conference. IEEE, 1999. 70-74.
Accelerator Conference. IEEE, 2001. 2084-2086.
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Vacuum, 1981, 32(5): 265-268.
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Michigan, 1997.
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for Information Display, 2005, 13 (3): 221-225.
30(Suppl. I): 99-101.
Proceedings of EPAC 2006, Edinburgh, Scotland THPCH174
07 Accelerator Technology
T26 Subsystems, Technology and Components, Other
Xiangyun Chang, Ilan Ben-Zvi, Andrew Burrill, Steven Hulbert, Peter Johnson, Jorg Kewisch,
Triveni Rao, John Smedley, Zvi Segalov, Yongxiang Zhao, BNL, Upton, NY 11973 U.S.A.
The secondary emission enhanced photoinjector
(SEEP) is a promising new approach to the generation of
high-current, high-brightness electron beams. A low
current primary electron beam with energy of a few
thousand electron-volts strikes a specially prepared
diamond window which emits secondary electrons with a
current two orders of magnitude higher. The secondary
electrons are created at the back side of the diamond and
drift through the window under the influence of a strong
electrical field. A hydrogen termination at the exit surface
of the window creates a negative electron affinity (NEA)
which allows the electrons to leave the diamond. An
experiment was performed to measure the secondary
electron yield and other properties. The results are
discussed in this paper..
The creation of high average-current, high brightness
electron beams is a key technology for a large number of
accelerator-based systems, such as ultra-high-power Free-
Electron Lasers (FELs), Energy-Recovery Linac (ERL)
light sources, electron cooling of hadron accelerators, and
many more.
Fig.1 shows a schematic layout of such a device.
The laser light illuminates on a high-QE photocathode,
such as CsK
Sb. The primary electrons produced on the
photocathode are accelerated to a few thousand electron-
volts by the DC field applied between the photocathode
and a diamond window. The primary electrons penetrate
the thin metal film deposited on the backside (left side) of
the diamond window and produce in the diamond a large
number of secondary electrons. The Secondary Electron
Yield (SEY) can be more than 100. The secondary
electrons drift through the diamond under a high RF
electric field and emerge into the accelerating proper of
the “gun” through a Negative Electron Affinity (NEA) [1]
surface of the diamond.
Most of the work on Secondary Electron Emission
(SEE) from diamond has been in the reflection mode
where the primary and secondary electrons are on the
same side of the sample with no external electric field.
But for SEEP application the electron must go through
In general, diamond may has the following defects:
foreign substitutional atoms, e.g., B, N and P, foreign
interstitial atoms, e.g., H and Li, self-interstitial
interstices, vacancies and grain boundaries, which are
formed by group of interstices.
The defects generate states with energy levels in the
band gap. When charge carriers (electrons or holes) move
though the lattice, they can be captured by the defects.
Once the carriers are captured by defects, they can be
released by thermal excitation or light. The release time
can be much longer than the capture time.

* Work performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of
Energy and partially funded by the US Department of Defense
Figure 1: The schematic of the secondary emission enhanced photo-injector
Proceedings of 2005 Particle Accelerator Conference, Knoxville, Tennessee
2251 0-7803-8859-3/05/$20.00 c 2005 IEEE

Trapping creates space charge and partially
compensates the external field (field shielding). It also
generates dark currents and heat. The trap concentration
in the diamond must be small for the diamond amplified
cathode application.
It is expected that the single crystal diamond with high
purity would have the best electron (and hole)
The test setup is schematically shown in Fig.2. The
diamond is coated on both sides with aluminum. The
stainless steel (SS) plates, which are isolated from one
another by kapton films are pressed against the aluminum
films. They are mounted onto a sample holder and placed
in a vacuum system. The electrodes are connected to the
SS plates and are led out of the vacuum so that one can
apply voltages on the aluminum films and measure the
currents. The primary electrons are emitted from a
0~5keV electron gun. The primary electrons strike the
front side (right side) of the diamond with current ranging
from 0 to 10µA. The minimum spot size of the primary
electron beam is less than 1mm in diameter.

• Polycrystalline diamond:
We first measured a Polycrystalline diamond sample
with thickness of 200µm and diameter of 6mm provided
by Harris International. The aluminum coating on the
front side has a diameter of 4mm and a thickness of
20nm, were the back side (left side) coating has a
diameter of 4mm and a thickness of 50nm. The diameter
of the SS plate holes is 2.5mm, to enable easy alignment
and good contacts with the coatings.
The primary electron energy ranges from 0eV to 6keV
and the current ranges from 0A to 5µA. No electron or
hole transmission was measured.
• Sample 1 diamond:
Another measurement was done on a diamond sample
provided by the Apollo Company with the same
dimensions as the above sample. The maximum
transmitted hole current measured (V1 is positive while
V2 is grounded) is listed in Table 1.
Table 1: Hole transmission in a single crystal
diamond. E
is the effective primary electron
energy, I
is the primary current and F is the
electric field across the diamond
(keV) I
(µA) F (MV/m) Gain (I
8 0.1 20 >200
8 0.5 20 ~30
6 8.5 10 2~3

At low temperature (80K) the gain was reduced by
more than 3 orders of magnitude. The reason is
presumably that the sample quality is not good enough,
i.e., there are too many traps and grain boundaries in the

Figure 2: Schematic of the electron (or hole)
transmission experiment. V1 and V2 are floating power
supplies ranging from -5kV to +5kV independently.
Figure 3: SEM picture of the cross-section of the sample 1
Proceedings of 2005 Particle Accelerator Conference, Knoxville, Tennessee
0-7803-8859-3/05/$20.00 c 2005 IEEE 2252
Fig.3 is the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)
picture of the cross-section of the sample 1 diamond. It’s
clear that the substrate side (bottom) is different from the
growth side (top). The grain size is very small (<1µm) on
the substrate side and even on the growth side the grain
size is not very big. The small lumps on the surface (~ a
few µm) may also indicate small grains.
We got high electron transmission gain (I
under the following conditions: Ep=4keV, V1=80V,
Eeff≈4keV, Ip≈5nA and F=20MV/m.
• Natural diamond
The natural diamond was purchased from a Russian
company. It has a rectangular shape, 3x2.64mm
and a
thickness of 160 microns. The diamond is a type 2a with a
modest nitrogen concentration of about 60 ppm (1.3x10

). No other contaminant atoms were reported
although we suspect there may be other contaminants too.
The diamond was checked with a microscope and was
verified to be of good crystal quality. The diamond was
coated on both faces with aluminum 30 nm thick.
Fig.4 shows four plots of electron transmission gain
through the diamond for constant primary current of 20
nA at room temperature and four primary energies: 1, 2, 3
and 4 keV. It is obvious that the maximum gain decreases
fast as we decreases the primary electron energy. At an
electron energy of 1 keV the gain disappears because the
low energy electrons are totally absorbed in the aluminum
coating. One also notices that the high gain curves do not
show the saturated gain property at high field gradient.
The slope of the curve at high field gradient increases as
the current through the diamond increases. This may
possibly due to ionization of impurity atoms, leading to a
larger SEY.
0 2 4 6 8
Gradient (MV/m)



0 5 10
Gradient (MV/m)



Fig.5 shows the plots of electron transmission gain for
constant primary current of 100nA at a diamond
temperature of 80K. Even at low temperatures we still get
very high gain. Similar to the room temperature case, at
high current through the diamond, we observe a higher
gain than expected just by SEY from the primary
electrons. We are not sure what the exact mechanism for
that is. Other details of the curve also will require further
investigation, such as the clear bend in the current vs.
field curve.”
The transmission through the natural diamond was
sensitive to the primary beam position and spot size. This
led to large variation of the electron transmission between
sets of experiments as seen in the room temperature and
low temperature measurements.
We also measured the hole transmission by changing
the polarity of the field across the diamond. No hole
transmission was measured. This is because the Nitrogen
impurity is a deep trap for holes while a shallow trap for
The measurements of charge carrier transmission
through diamond films are presented. To have better
transmission properties, a single crystal pure diamond is
desired. Single crystal requirement seem more important.
With better quality diamond, we expect that the electron
transmission through diamond will be appropriate for
[1] J. E. Yater, A. Shih, and R. Abrams, “Electron
transport and emission properties of C(100)”,
Physical Review B, V56, R4410.

Figure 5: Electron transmission through the natural
diamond for constant primary current of 20 nA at 80K
and primary energies of 2, 3, 4 and 5 keV
Figure 4: Electron transmission through the natural
diamond for constant primary current of 20 nA at room
temperature and primary energies of 1, 2, 3 and 4 keV
Proceedings of 2005 Particle Accelerator Conference, Knoxville, Tennessee
2253 0-7803-8859-3/05/$20.00 c 2005 IEEE
Investigation of the secondary emission characteristics of CVD diamond films
for electron amplification
J.S. Lapington
, D.P. Thompson
, P.W. May
, N.A. Fox
, J. Howorth
, J. Milnes
, V. Taillandier
Space Research Centre, Univeristy of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
Department of Chemistry, Univeristy of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TS, UK
Photek Ltd., St. Leonards on Sea, East Sussex TN38 9NS, UK
Commissariat a l’Energie Atomique, SPN Bruyeres-le-Chatel, 91297 Arpajon Cedex, France
a r t i c l e i n f o
Available online 12 June 2009
CVD diamond
Secondary electron emission
a b s t r a c t
Chemical vapour deposition (CVD) diamond offers great potential as a low-cost, high-yield, easily
manufactured secondary electron emitter for electron multiplication in devices such as photomultiplier
tubes. Its potential for high secondary electron yield offers several significant benefits for these devices
including higher time resolution, faster signal rise time, reduced pulse height distribution, low noise,
and chemical stability.
We describe an experiment to characterize the secondary emission yield of CVD diamond
manufactured using different processes and process parameters and discuss the degradation of
secondary electron yield and experimental difficulties encountered due to unwanted electron beam-
induced contamination. We describe techniques utilized to overcome these difficulties, and present
measurements of secondary yield from CVD diamond dynodes in reflection mode.
We discuss the application of CVD diamond dynode technology, both in reflection and transmission
mode, to advanced high-speed imaging and photon-counting detectors and describe future plans in this
& 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
Despite the widespread success of solid-state imaging devices
such as the ubiquitous CCD, there are many fields where the
sensitivity to detect single-quanta accurately in time and space is
required, a regime where signal amplification is essential. Despite
advances in solid-state avalanche gain technologies, the physics of
solid-state semiconductors limit the ultimate response time and
signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) compared with the fundamental
limitations for in vacuo electron gain devices, such as the
photomultiplier tube (PMT) and microchannel plate (MCP).
PMT and MCP detectors are utilized in many fields of science,
from space-based astronomical UV [1] and X-ray observations, to
microscopic analysis and diagnosis of in vivo biological processes.
PMTs are the workhorse detector for photon-counting applica-
tions, from medical imaging as PET scanners to detection of exotic
particles as neutrino detectors. MCP detectors have the capability
to achieve picosecond event timing resolution, and their planar
geometry lends itself to high-resolution imaging, with formats
exceeding 4000Â4000 pixel
The performance of in vacuo secondary electron gain devices
such as PMTs and MCPs is fundamentally limited by the number
of secondary electrons produced by a primary electron impacting
the dynode surface. Since the gain progression is geometric, a
technology providing improved dynode emission with the
stability to use at high signal currents would produce a step
advance in the performance. Boron-doped diamond film depos-
ited using chemical vapour deposition (CVD) techniques has been
shown to exhibit significantly enhanced secondary electron yield
(SEY), especially at higher voltages, compared to traditional
dynode materials [2] (see Fig. 1), and its application offers
significant advantages:
1. Enhanced SEY: Diamond, along with several other high band-
gap semiconductors, can exhibit negative electron affinity
(NEA) with suitable surface preparation, a major factor
enhancing SEY. However, unlike other higher band-gap
materials (e.g. AlN, Ga
N), synthetic CVD diamond is easy
to produce [3].
2. Simplified design: Higher SEY results in a lower number of
dynodes being required for a given gain, a distinct advantage in
terms of device size, cost, and complexity.
3. Enhanced timing: Boron-doped (p-type) diamond surfaces
produce a narrow energy distribution of low-energy secondary
Contents lists available at ScienceDirect
journal homepage:
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in
Physics Research A
0168-9002/$ - see front matter & 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Corresponding author. Tel.: +441162523498; fax: +441162522464.
E-mail address: (J.S. Lapington).
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research A 610 (2009) 253–257
electrons [4] allowing improved confinement of trajectories
with improved time resolution and reduced background [5].
4. Narrow pulse height distribution (PHD): The Poisson statistics of
high-gain diamond dynodes intrinsically produce a narrower
PHD with improved SNR, allowing detector operation at lower
gain and better energy resolution for scintillation counters, PET
scanners, etc.
5. Low noise: Its wide band gap (5.47eV) precludes the thermal
excitation of electrons at typical operating temperatures cf.
materials with comparable SEY (e.g. GaP—2.26eV). Conversely,
it has lower thermal noise than traditional dynode materials at
high temperatures.
6. Large-area: CVD deposition offers a low-cost, large-area coat-
ing technique and is applicable to shaped substrates c.f.
expensive materials such as GaN and GaP, which can only be
grown on lattice matched substrates e.g. sapphire. Inkjet
printing of diamond nanoparticles and subsequent growth
into patterned films has also been demonstrated.
7. Stability: CVD diamond has a stable SEY, little affected by long-
term storage. Its SEY remains high after exposure and it can be
reactivated [6].
One potential drawback of diamond’s higher gain is the
increased voltage required per stage. However, diamond’s smaller
pulse height variance and low noise promote operation at lower
gain with a smaller number of stages, thus alleviating the overall
voltage requirement.
2. Experimental setup
The SEY characterization apparatus is a bakeable stainless-
steel vacuum system with a centrally mounted, electrically
insulated conductive arm supporting up to four 1cm
and a small Faraday cup (SFC) for beam current calibration. Fig. 2
shows a schematic diagram of the apparatus and Fig. 3a shows a
photograph of the arm with three samples and the SFC aperture.
The sample support arm can be moved laterally by 725mm
and rotated 3601 around its axis. Lateral motion is used to position
one of the samples or the Faraday cup in the path of a beam of
electrons generated by an electron gun and rotation allows the
beam incidence angle to be varied or the samples placed out of
sight of the beam. The ELS5000 electron gun, manufactured by
PSP Vacuum Technology [7], produces a focussed electron beam
with a spot size of o50 mm at 1mA, working distance of
Fig. 1. SEY coefficients of three common dynode materials (inset—Photonis PMT
Handbook) cf. CVD diamond for different surface terminations [2] and data (grey
squares) from our research programme.
Fig. 2. A schematic diagram of the SEY characterization apparatus.
Fig. 3. (a). A photograph of the sample arm with three samples. The SFC is the
aperture between sample 1 and 2. The montage below is the false colour SEY
image produced by scanning the electron beam. Fig. 3b is an SEY image showing
the SFC aperture (the black hole in the middle).
J.S. Lapington et al. / Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research A 610 (2009) 253–257 254
15–75mm, and beam energy of up to 5keV. The beam can be
electrostatically deflected in the xy plane by 75mm.
Secondary electrons produced by the electron beam impinging
the sample are collected by a stainless-steel cylinder, the large
Faraday cup (LFC), which surrounds the arm. The LFC is coaxial
with the support arm and is mounted on an insulating support at
its closed end. The electron beam enters through a small aperture
in the side of the LFC. The LFC can (a) be biased and, (b) has
extended length to minimize the solid angle of the external
chamber seen by emitted secondary electrons from the sample.
Both measures serve to ensure secondary electrons from the
sample are captured by the LFC. Both the sample support arm and
the LFC are electrically insulated allowing them to be biased and
their respective collected currents to be measured using a Keithley
6514 Electrometer and 6485 Picoammeter, both operating as
precision ammeters. These can be interchanged, however, only the
electrometer input can be biased.
Two independent methods can be used to calibrate the
electron beam current, (i) the beam can be collected completely
in the SFC, the sample current equalling the beam current,
confirmed by a zero LFC current, or, (ii) the beam current can be
calculated from the sum of sample and LFC currents. The former
method requires the electron beam to be sufficiently well
focussed to completely pass through the SFC aperture of
0.5mm. Focussing was carried out by scanning the beam in two
dimensions across the SFC aperture using the beam deflection
capability, and imaging the aperture by means of the measured
SEY, calculated using the sample and LFC currents. The SEY was
then given by
The focus was adjusted to achieve zero SEY over the aperture,
the expected result when the beam is fully collected in the SFC.
Elsewhere, the phosphor-bronze shim from which the SFC was
constructed produced an SEY of $1.0. This technique also allowed
the beam profile to be calculated by deconvolution of the circular
SFC pinhole from the imaged SEY (see Fig. 3b).
3. Results
Initially the system was pumped with a Leybold turbo pump
and rotary backing pump, reaching an ultimate pressure of
mbar. Early on in the experiment it was noted that the
measured SEY from any sample material, unless already very low,
degraded rapidly over time-scales of minutes as a result of
exposure to the electron beam. Evidence in the form of visible
contamination, known as electron beam-induced contamination
[8], from areas subject to long-term exposure, pointed strongly to
the presence of organic contamination. This occurred in two
forms, both highly structured, suggesting interaction of the beam
with adsorbed contaminants on the sample surface, and as diffuse
shadows whose geometry suggested either the presence of a
large-angle component in the beam distribution or isotropic
evolution of contaminants from a remote source back along the
beam line. At this stage the vacuum system was cleaned and the
pump set replaced with an oil-free system comprising an Edwards
Maglev turbo and scroll pump, though the ultimate vacuum
achieved was not appreciably lower.
Another mechanism for SEY degradation is hydrogen deso-
rption from the diamond surface, which causes the disappearance
of NEA [9]. Since both electron beam-induced contamination and
hydrogen desorption are produced by exposure to the electron
beam and are sensitive to total beam flux, they are difficult to
distinguish, but their effect can be alleviated if the total flux can
be reduced. This approach was used to enable measurement of the
nominal SEY of an initially ‘‘clean’’ material. The overall flux was
reduced by both pulsing the beam and lowering the beam current.
LabView was used for the software platform to automate the
measurement procedure, which was used to control the electron
gun HV, the xy beam deflection, the beam focus, and to initialize
and take synchronised measurements from the Keithley am-
meters, process the data, and save and display results. Several
modes of operation allowed: (1) automated beam focussing, (2) xy
area beam scan and SEY image capture, (3) energy scan at a single
point to produce SEY versus beam energy data, and (4) other
calibration procedures. The low-noise Keithley ammeters and
good electrical insulation allowed electron beam currents in the
1–10nA range to be used even when several hundred volt biases
were applied to the LFC. The HV was typically pulsed for 0.3s with
the ammeters taking measurements every 10ms. The time profile
of measurements was used to select a window where the currents
had reached a stable regime.
These modifications drastically reduced the rate of SEY
degradation with total beam charge. Fig. 4 shows a plot of the
variation of SEY for a single $100mm spot illuminated by the
electron beam versus total deposited charge. The contribution of
the two SEY degradation mechanisms to this data is uncertain,
however, we have qualitative proof that, despite the
decontaminated vacuum system and oil-free pump set, electron
beam-induced contamination is still present. This is evidenced by
Extracted Charge (mC)


0.50 1.00 1.50 2.00 2.50
Fig. 4. A plot showing the degradation of SEY with increasing electron beam charge.
J.S. Lapington et al. / Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research A 610 (2009) 253–257 255
Fig. 5, which shows a photograph of the SFC after prolonged
exposure to the electron beam, producing a diagonal dark stain.
However, concurrent SEY imaging of the area around the SFC
showed no trace of actual elongation of the beam distribution that
this deposit implies. This would be apparent as elongation of the
SFC aperture in the SEY image owing to convolution of the beam
and aperture distributions.
With the apparatus modified to reduce the SEY degradation
effects, we measured the SEY of a variety of diamond samples
from various sources, manufactured using different methods
(CVD, inkjet-printed nanoparticles), dopants and dopant concen-
trations, and differing crystallinities. Fig. 6 shows a plot of the best
results obtained for boron-doped, CVD diamond coated on silicon
and molybdenum substrates. The best SEY value so far obtained of
45 for B-doped diamond on silicon at 2.4keV is the highest
reported for hydrogen-terminated material and a strong driver to
apply this technology to electron multiplication. However, in the
presence of degradation due to electron beam-induced
contamination, these must be regarded as preliminary.
However, measurements of variation of SEY with angle of
incidence show unexpected behaviour (see Fig. 7). Typically, SEY
Fig. 5. A photograph of the SFC before (left) and after (right) prolonged
illumination with the electron beam.
Electron Beam Energy (keV)


0 deg
15 deg
30 deg
45 deg
60 deg
75 deg
0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3
Fig. 7. Measured SEY versus energy for hydrogen-terminated B-doped CVD diamond deposited on molybdenum, with the electron beam at various angles of incidence.
Electron Beam Energy (keV)


Sample A
Sample B
0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3
Fig. 6. Measured SEY versus beam energy data for hydrogen-terminated B-doped CVD diamond deposited on molybdenum (sample A) and silicon (sample B) substrates.
J.S. Lapington et al. / Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research A 610 (2009) 253–257 256
is expected to increase with angle of incidence (defined as the
angle with respect to the surface normal). This is due to the
reduced depth of penetration normal to the surface at higher
angles, resulting in an increase in secondary electron escape
probability. Either, the high granularity of the surface plays a role
in reversing this trend or, as has been suggested by other authors,
the secondary electron escape mechanism from polycrystalline
diamond is different, utilizing transport along grain boundaries
4. Future developments
We have plans to investigate the application of diamond as
secondary electron multiplication dynodes in actual detectors
operating in two modes:
1. Transmission: primary electrons enter through one surface of a
thin film of diamond, and secondary electrons exit through the
other. Primary track lengths at typical energies coupled with
the minority carrier diffusion length requires (a) film thick-
nesses o200nm, or (b) thicker films with an internal drift field
to increase the secondary diffusion length.
2. Reflection: diamond is deposited on an open conductive wire
mesh or electroformed grid. Primary and secondary electrons
enter and exit through the same diamond surface. Coated mesh
dynodes (not CVD diamond) are already used in some imaging
The transmission technique is conceptually superior, providing
a linear detector design with minimum charge spread and
guaranteed electron collision at every dynode, ideally suited for
imaging applications. It is technologically more demanding;
challenges being mechanical support of very thin films or
incorporation of internal drift fields.
5. Conclusions
We have obtained SEY results from B-doped hydrogen-
terminated CVD diamond comparable or better than reported
elsewhere. However, we are still encountering electron beam-
induced contamination effects within the apparatus and are
continuing to develop counter measures to this limitation, while
in parallel, attempting to establish the relevance of SEY reduction due
to hydrogen desorption. The scale of the latter is the more serious
issue, being unavoidable in a detector context in reflection mode.
Successful demonstration of high SEY from a transmission dynode
will circumvent this problem since hydrogen desorption from the
input surface should not affect the NEA of the output surface.
[1] J.S. Lapington, S. Chakrabarti, T. Cook, J.C. Gsell, V.T. Gsell, Nucl. Instr. and
Meth. A A513 (2003) 159.
[2] J.E. Yater, A. Shih, R. Abrams, J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 16 (1998) 913.
[3] P.W. May, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. London A 358 (2000) 473.
[4] J.B. Miller, G.R. Brandes, J. Appl. Phys. 82 (1997) 4538.
[5] Jon Howorth, Photek Ltd., private communication.
[6] G.T. Mearini, I.L. Krainsky, J.A. Dayton Jr., Surf. Interface Anal. 21 (1994) 138.
[7] PSP Vacuum Technology, Macclesfield, UK, /www.pspvacuum.comS.
[8] A.E. Vladar, M.T. Postek, Microsc. Microanal. 11 (Suppl. 2) (2005) 764.
[9] J.B. Cui, J. Ristein, L. Ley, Phys. Rev. B59 (1999) 5847.
[10] J.E. Yater, A. Shih, J.E. Butler, P.E. Pehrsson, J. Appl. Phys. 96 (2004) 446.
J.S. Lapington et al. / Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research A 610 (2009) 253–257 257
Multipactor discharge on metals and dielectrics: Historical review
and recent theories*
R. A. Kishek
Institute for Plasma Research, ERB#223, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742
Y. Y. Lau,
L. K. Ang, A. Valfells, and R. M. Gilgenbach
Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor,
Michigan 48109-2104
͑Received 18 November 1997; accepted 12 January 1998͒
This paper reviews the history of multipactor discharge theory, focusing on recent models of
multipactor accessibility and saturation. Two cases are treated in detail: That of a first-order,
two-surface multipactor, and that of a single-surface multipactor on a dielectric. In both cases,
susceptibility curves are constructed to indicate the regions of external parameter space where
multipactor is likely to occur, taking into account the dependence on surface materials, and the
effects of space charge and cavity loading. In the case of a dielectric, multipactor is found to deliver
about 1% of the rf power to the surface. The two cases are contrasted in light of experimental
observations. © 1998 American Institute of Physics. ͓S1070-664X͑98͒92205-4͔
Multipactor discharge is a resonant vacuum discharge
frequently observed in microwave systems such as radio fre-
quency ͑rf͒ windows,
accelerator structures,
tubes and devices,
and rf satellite payloads.
discharge can occur for a wide range of frequencies, from the
MHz range to tens of GHz, and in a wide array of geom-
etries. The underlying mechanism behind the multipactor
discharge is an avalanche caused by secondary electron
emission. Primary electrons accelerated by rf fields can im-
pact a surface and release a larger number of secondary elec-
trons, which may in turn be accelerated by the rf fields and
made to impact again, releasing even more electrons, and so
on. The discharge can take place on a single surface or be-
tween two surfaces.
Multipactor is usually undesirable. It can dissipate sub-
stantial amounts of energy fed into microwave cavities, thus
lengthening the conditioning process. It can detune a micro-
wave signal ͑with detrimental consequences for space com-
munications systems͒. The discharge also heats the surface,
possibly increasing noise levels in crossed-field devices and
perhaps causing damage. Through various mechanisms mul-
tipactor may result in window breakage, destroying the
vacuum. In some circumstances ͑see Ref. 12͒, multipactor
may even induce vacuum breakdown. It is worth noting that,
despite all of the above, there is a growing number of appli-
cations for the discharge. For example, the inherent resonant
bunching in multipactor has been explored for use in electron
gun technology.
The capability of multipactor to induce
breakdown is under study for application in plasma display
technology, while its capability to dissipate energy has been
used for the protection of sensitive receivers.
In this paper, we review recent advances at the Univer-
sity of Michigan in the theoretical understanding of multi-
pactor. The discharge is modeled from first principles, taking
into account both space charge forces and interaction with
the structure ͑loading and detuning͒. To our knowledge, this
is the first theory that includes this interaction between the
multipactor discharge and the surrounding rf structure. Our
theory employs a realistic model of secondary electron emis-
sion for various surface materials. To put the recent theories
in their proper context we start with a brief historical review
of multipactor theory ͑Sec. II͒. Afterwards we describe the
recent theories on accessibility and saturation of multipactor
discharge. The presentation is divided into two sections: one
dealing with two-surface multipactor ͑Sec. III͒, and another
concentrating on the special, yet commonplace, case of
single-surface multipactor on dielectrics ͑Sec. IV͒. The two
cases are contrasted in the conclusion.
Multipactor has been observed as early as 1924 by the
Guttons ͑see Ref. 20͒, but was not identified until Farnsworth
a decade later, who coined the name ‘‘multipactor’’ ͑from
‘‘AC Electron Multiplier’’͒ for an amplifier he invented
based on the discharge ͑see Ref. 21͒. Observations of multi-
pactor in gaseous breakdown experiments in 1930s and
1940s led to many early theories. Most notable are those of
Daniellson, and of Henneburg et al., in 1936 ͑see Ref. 20͒.
The latter derive the resonance condition on the transit time
for electrons emitted with zero initial velocity, and also iden-
tify single particle phase focusing and stability of the dis-
Perhaps the first systematic study of multipactor came
from Gill and von Engel of Oxford University in the 1940s,
in which they experimentally outlined part of the region sus-
ceptible to multipactor and, in conjunction, advanced a
theory that recognized the sensitivity of the solution to a
*Paper kWeaI2-6 Bull. Am. Phys. Soc. 42, 1949 ͑1997͒.

Invited speaker.

Electronic mail:

Electronic mail:
2120 1070-664X/98/5(5)/2120/7/$15.00 © 1998 American Institute of Physics
nonzero emission velocity of secondaries. In order to avoid
the complications of a distribution of random emission ve-
locities, Gill and von Engel introduced the ad hoc assump-
tion that a parameter k, equal to the impact velocity of the
primaries relative to the emission velocity of secondaries, is
constant. There is no physical basis for this assumption. Fur-
thermore, Gill and von Engel’s attempt at using the theory to
interpret their experimental results was flawed, and it was
not until Hatch and Williams reformulated the theory in the
1950s to explain their own multipactor experiments
reasonable agreement was obtained. Since Hatch and Will-
iams retained the constant ‘‘k’’ assumption of Gill and von
Engel, the modified theory became known as the ‘‘constant-
k’’ theory and for decades remained the classic theory on the
accessibility of multipactor,
because of its utility in con-
structing susceptibility curves.
More recently, Vaughan
has promoted an alternative to
the constant-k theory, based rather on that by Henneburg
et al., and derived from first principles. Vaughan’s theory
replaces the baseless assumption of constant k with the more
realistic assumption of a monoenergetic nonzero initial ve-
locity. Other researchers
have since then adopted
Vaughan’s theory. Riyopoulos et al. extended it to include a
crossed-magnetic field. In Sec. III we use this theory in de-
riving the susceptibility curve, and extend it to include the
effects of materials and of cavity loading.
In the decades following the rf breakdown experiments
of Hatch and Williams, multipactor proliferated in all types
of rf devices, and its suppression became a major concern.
Many of the advances in understanding multipactor and the
suppression techniques, however, remained proprietary to in-
dustries, and hence relatively little survives in the open
literature. Currently, there are three general approaches
for suppressing multipactor: conditioning of the
components by the discharge,
coatings and other
‘‘surface treatments,’’
and geometrical modifi-
Conditioning is a lengthy process that de-
pends on the discharge affecting the surface characteristics
enough to quench itself. In general, surface treatments are
aimed at reducing the effective secondary electron yield to
inhibit the growth of multipactor, but unfortunately cannot
be applied in all situations and are likely to degrade over
The most promising method so far has been modify-
ing the geometry ͑e.g., moving the location of a rf
͒, with the goal of altering the trajectories of
electrons so as to eliminate multipactor.
Despite the wealth of experimental data, the advances in
multipactor theory moved at a much slower pace. The avail-
ability of more powerful computer platforms led to the emer-
gence of many computer codes to model multipactor and aid
in designing multipactor-free structures.
Yet even to-
day, the multipactor codes are limited to calculating single-
electron trajectories subject to a given rf field. Only recently
are particle-in-cell ͑PIC͒ codes being applied to
The accessibility theories have also
been extended to various types of geometries, such as
or coaxial
geometries. Single-surface
multipactor on dielectrics poses a special problem,
until recently, few satisfactory theories have been
Neither the trajectory computations nor the accessibility
theories say anything of the saturation level of the multipac-
tor current or the time scale over which multipactor evolves.
Many early researchers have suspected that debunching due
to space charge forces can saturate the multipactor,
but it was not until Vaughan in 1988 that anyone attempted
to analytically estimate the level of saturation.
also assumed space charge debunching of the
multipactor to be the cause of saturation, although each
treated this effect somewhat differently. None of these satu-
ration theories accounted in any way for the important pro-
cesses of loading and detuning of rf structures by the multi-
pactor. In Sec. III B we shall look at the first theory to
explore this loading effect in resonant structures, while in
Sec. IV we shall look at the first complete theory on acces-
sibility and saturation of multipactor on dielectric windows.
In this section, we address the subject of a multipactor
discharge between two metallic surfaces. For simplicity, we
assume two parallel plane surfaces, separated by a gap of
width D. A perpendicular rf electric field, of the form
/D) sin (2␲ftϩ␪), where f is the frequency of the rf
and V
is the amplitude of the voltage across the gap, ac-
celerates electrons inside the gap. Upon impact, secondaries
are released with a monoenergetic nonzero initial velocity of
a few eV ͑in Sec. IV we further include a random distribu-
tion of emission velocities͒. The secondary electron yield, ␦,
is a function of impact energy and angle of the primary
In this paper, we adopt Vaughan’s empirical for-
mula for the yield.
The dependence on impact energy is
illustrated in Fig. 1 where the yield as a function of impact
energy is determined by the two material-dependent param-
eters E
and ␦
. These two parameters determine two
energies for which the yield is unity, called the first and
second cross-over points, E
and E
, respectively ͑shown in
the figure͒. Clearly, multipactor grows only for impact ener-
gies in between E
and E
, where ␦Ͼ1.
A. Susceptibility curves
For the multipactor discharge to be sustained, electrons
just released from one plate must be accelerated strongly
enough to reach the other plate, and do so at a time when the
FIG. 1. Dependence of secondary electron yield on impact energy.
2121 Phys. Plasmas, Vol. 5, No. 5, May 1998 Kishek et al.
field has reversed ͑or is close to doing so͒ in order that the
secondary electrons released from the impact also be accel-
erated. This consideration leads to a condition on the transit
time of the electrons,
namely, that the transit time
should be near an odd number, N, of
rf cycles for multi-
pactor to take place, where the number N is called the order
of the multipactor. This transit time condition ͑or synchrony
condition͒ relates the rf voltage and frequency to the geom-
etry, allowing us to map the regions of external parameter
space in which multipactor is possible. Such maps are called
susceptibility curves in the literature ͑e.g., Fig. 3, which will
be described in greater detail below͒. Typically, the gap volt-
age is plotted against the product of the frequency and gap
separation ( f D). For each order of the multipactor, a pair of
lines defines the region in which multipactor is possible.
Given the frequency and the geometry, the curve immedi-
ately provides us with the voltage range for multipactor
). For zero emission velocity in a parallel plate
geometry, the voltage boundaries scale as ( f D)
and hence
they appear as straight lines of slope 2 on a log–log plot.
The voltage boundaries V
and V
can be derived
by a simple integration of the force law, imposing the transit
time condition x(tϭN/2 f )ϭD. This results in an equation
relating the gap voltage amplitude to the external parameters
f and D, as well as the launch phase, ␪, and the emission
energy, E
, of secondary electrons. The orbits are stable
only for a narrow range of launch phases, thus defining the
voltage boundaries. The minimum voltage, V
, is ob-
tained at the maximum stable phase ␪ϭ␪
ϭarctan (2/N␲). The maximum voltage, V
, is obtained
at the maximum negative phase that allows an electron
launched with nonzero initial velocity to reach the other
plate. A negative phase is possible if the emission velocity is
nonzero and the electric field changes sign before the elec-
tron hits the plate of origin. The maximum negative phase is
that which results in the electron reversing, going back to the
plate of origin, and reversing again just before touching that
Although such curves that include the dependence of
or V
on the emission energy, E
, have been
no explicit formulas for them have thus far been
provided. For easy reference, we display, in physical units,
in Eq. ͑1a͒
for general emission energy E
, and
in Eq. ͑1b͒ only for the special case E
ϭ0 ͑therefore
we call it V
g min
22480͑ f D͒
Ϫ͑ N␲f D͒ͱ44960E
͑ N␲͒
, ͑1a͒
g max 0
͑ f D͒
, ͑1b͒
where the voltages are in volts, the frequency f is in GHz,
the gap width D is in cm, and the secondary-electron emis-
sion energy E
is in eV. There is no simple closed-form
solution of V
for nonzero E
, but it is possible to solve
for it numerically. Gill and von Engel had solved the result-
ing transcendental equations, expressing the maximum nega-
tive phases in terms of their ‘‘k’’ parameter.
Reformulating the results of Gill and von Engel, we
show in Fig. 2 the correction to Eq. ͑1b͒ introduced by the
nonzero initial velocity.
Note that this is valid only for a
first-order (Nϭ1), two-surface multipactor. With this graph,
it becomes a simple matter to calculate the upper bound
in the case of a nonzero initial velocity. First, one uses
Eq. ͑1b͒ to calculate V
for a zero initial velocity. Next,
one locates the point on the graph in Fig. 2 that corresponds
to the given frequency, gap separation, and monoenergetic
nonzero initial velocity, then reads off the correction factor.
Multiplying this correction factor by V
gives the desired
upper bound. Note from Fig. 2 that the importance of a non-
zero initial velocity decreases for higher ( f D) products. This
is a direct result of the higher voltages and, hence, the higher
impact energies at higher ( f D) products. Figure 3 is an ex-
ample of a susceptibility curve showing the resulting voltage
boundaries for a first-order multipactor as pairs of diagonal
lines, one for each of a number of monoenergetic initial ve-
locities, v
In addition to the boundaries on the voltage presented
above, another factor ͑which has been largely ignored in the
literature thus far͒ further constrains the existence of two-
surface multipactor. This originates from the consideration
that the secondary electron yield must be greater than unity
FIG. 2. Universal curve to determine the upper limiting voltage, V
, for
a first-order (Nϭ1), two-surface multipactor assuming a general nonzero
monoenergetic emission energy E
͑in eV͒. Here, f is the frequency in GHz
and D is the gap separation in cm.
FIG. 3. Susceptibility curve for a two-surface multipactor showing the ef-
fects of nonzero emission velocity and surface materials. This example is
constructed for oxygen-free copper ͑␦
ϭ1.3; E
ϭ600 eV͒ and alumina
ϭ6.5; E
ϭ1300 eV͒, assuming a monoenergetic emission energy,
ϭ2 eV ͑—͒; 5 eV ͑-•-͒; and 10 eV ͑...͒.
2122 Phys. Plasmas, Vol. 5, No. 5, May 1998 Kishek et al.
for the avalanche to occur, and the impact energy has to be in
the vicinity of E
͑Ref. 28͒, even for voltages in the range
). Since E
depends on the surface materials,
these surface materials provide additional conditions on the
existence of multipactor.
The first such condition is that the
starting impact energy cannot be below E
͑or else ␦Ͻ1͒.
The second condition on the impact energy arises from dy-
namic considerations. Our extensive simulations ͑with Q in
the range 10–1000 and ␦
ϭ1.2͒ show that if the starting
impact energy is greater than about 1.33E
͑depending on
many particulars͒, then cavity loading alone is insufficient in
saturating the multipactor, and the discharge appears spo-
radically. It is possible in such a situation for the multipactor
to saturate by space charge debunching, as investigated by
and in greater depth by Riyopoulos.
nately, the latter papers completely neglect the effect of load-
ing, which would in fact be significant in the intense space
We now proceed to translate these boundaries onto the
susceptibility curve. Examples for oxygen-free copper and
alumina are provided in Fig. 3. Ignoring any nonzero initial
velocity of secondaries, the impact energy can be related to
the driving voltage ͑in the absence of multipactor͒ by solving
the force law for the impact energy. When the gap voltage is
at the upper voltage boundary ͑V
and ␪ϭ0͒ elec-
trons experience the maximum possible impact energy. Set-
ting that equal to E
gives the first boundary, the solid ver-
tical line on the susceptibility curve ͑see Fig. 3͒. Similarly,
the lower voltage boundary, at V
and ␪
, results in the
minimum possible impact energy. Setting that to 1.33E
gives the second boundary, which we represent with the dot-
ted vertical line in Fig. 3. The boundaries imposed by a given
material are then
Ͻf DϽ0.17


, ͑2͒
where f is in GHz, D in cm, and E
in eV. These suscepti-
bility curves, derived from a dynamic theory, show the quali-
tative features of the experimentally observed data.
B. Saturation
Once the conditions for existence of multipactor are sat-
isfied, any seed electron can trigger the discharge. The ava-
lanche of electrons cannot go on unchecked, however, and
sooner or later a saturation mechanism will set in. As shown
in Sec. II, prior researchers have proposed space charge
forces to be the ͑only͒ saturation mechanism.
this is a likely mechanism in some cases, the loading of rf
structures by multipactor can play a significant role, espe-
cially in resonant structures. We have proposed a model of
the multipactor discharge that includes such interaction with
the structure.
In this model, which is illustrated in Fig. 4, a
single infinitesimally thin electron sheet travels in one di-
mension inside a gap between two parallel plates. Through
Ramo’s theorem,
the motion of the electrons induces a wall
current, I
(t), which in turn loads the rf structure, repre-
sented in our model by a RLC circuit with a quality factor Q.
The motion of the electron sheet is driven by the modified rf
voltage across the gap, as well as by the evolving image
space charge forces.
We have later extended this model to account for the
mutual repulsion between the space charges through the ad-
dition of a second electron sheet.
The two-sheet model has
revealed a novel phase-focusing mechanism caused by the
dependence of the secondary electron yield on impact energy
͑Fig. 1͒. This phase-focusing mechanism results in the
charge density of one sheet growing at the expense of the
other in our two-sheet model, thus focusing the electrons into
a narrow bunch despite their mutual repulsion. This demon-
strates the adequacy of the single-sheet model, at least for the
regime Qտ10, ␦
Շ1.5 that we have studied.
Extensive simulations based on our one-dimensional
͑1-D͒ model show that the interaction of the multipactor with
the rf circuit, a combination of detuning and de-Q-ing, is the
dominant saturation mechanism for resonant rf structures
(Qտ10). The impact energy in the steady state is equal to
the first cross-over point energy, E
, of the surface material.
The simulations have been augmented with an analytical
derivation of the steady-state power dissipated in multipactor
͑for a resonantly driven, first-order discharge, the most pre-
dominant case͒.
The formula shown in Eq. ͑3͒ gives the
fraction of rf power consumed by the steady-state multipac-
tor as a function of external parameters. This agrees well
with the simulation results and predicts that anywhere from
1%–50% of the input rf power can be dissipated in the mul-

, ͑3͒

͑ ␮


͑ ␮


͑ ␮


͑ ␮
͑ ␮
Here, P
is the power consumed by the steady-state multi-
pactor, P
is the drive power, ␮
/m)/2␲f D is the
normalized impact velocity corresponding to the first cross-
over point, ␯
/2␲f D is the normalized emission veloc-
ity of the secondaries ͑assumed monoenergetic͒, and r
/m(2␲f D)
is the normalized steady-state gap volt-
FIG. 4. Model of a two-surface multipactor and interaction with rf circuit.
2123 Phys. Plasmas, Vol. 5, No. 5, May 1998 Kishek et al.
age in the absence of multipactor. Note that the power dissi-
pated in a multipactor discharge in the steady state is essen-
tially a function of just two external parameters: ␮
, which is
related to the surface material, and r
, which is related to the
energy supplied to the structure.
Although Eq. ͑3͒ is simplified by assuming a resonantly
driven cavity, our model is capable of simulating off-
resonance drive, and has been used to derive a more general
formula for the latter case.
Since multipactor is a resonant
discharge, it can only exist for a narrow band of frequencies
around the resonant frequency of the cavity. The width of
this frequency band is found to be proportional to the gap
voltage amplitude and inversely proportional to the Q of the
The slow response time and the large amount of energy
stored in a highly resonant cavity can lead to difficulties in
powering such a cavity, considerably lengthening the condi-
tioning time. Simulations with Qϳ1000 show that once the
voltage reaches a multipactor-prone region, it locks in as the
multipactor avalanche dissipates all the additional power
These simulations corroborate experimental ob-
servations since, in practice, it typically takes hours or days
for the surface to become sufficiently conditioned to quench
the multipactor and allow the voltage to rise to its full design
Gopinath et al. subsequently used a 1-D PIC code to
simulate multipactor in a resonant cavity.
Their more so-
phisticated simulations verify the predictions of our simple
model, namely that cavity loading by the multipactor can
result in saturation with an average impact energy in the
vicinity of the first cross-over point. Moreover, they have
concluded that a full distribution of initial velocities pro-
duces the same results as a monoenergetic velocity that is the
average of such a distribution,
thus validating our assump-
In contrast to metal surfaces, dielectric surfaces are ca-
pable of supporting a distribution of fixed charges. The pres-
ence of fixed charges creates dc electric fields which change
the relationship between the electron motion and the rf. In
this section, we focus on a situation where the rf electric
field, E
sin(2␲ftϩ␪), is parallel to a dielectric surface ͑as
is usually the case near transmission windows͒.
We as-
sume that the surface has a net positive charge which sets up
a restoring dc electric field, E
͑Fig. 5͒. In addition, we use
Monte Carlo methods to simulate a realistic distribution of
initial velocities for the secondaries. As will be seen, the
susceptibility curve and the saturation mechanism in this
case are very different from those of the two-surface multi-
pactor discussed in Sec. III.
A. Susceptibility curve
Electrons emitted from the surface with a random initial
velocity and angle will be attracted back to the surface by the
dc electric field ͑Fig. 5͒. During transit, they gain energy
from the rf electric field and so impact the surface at an
energy higher than the emission energy. Their impact energy
and angle, both of which determine the yield, depend on the
phase of the rf and the random initial velocity and angle. The
Monte Carlo simulation tracks a macroparticle over a large
number of transits, and for every transit assigns it a random
initial velocity and angle according to realistic
Over a long time, we can see an average
trend of growth or decay in the charge density of that mac-
roparticle, depending on the external parameters of the simu-
lation: E
, E
, the frequency, and the material used.
With the aid of such Monte Carlo simulations, we were
able to construct a universal susceptibility curve ͑Fig. 6͒
showing the regions susceptible to multipactor for any com-
bination of external parameters and for any dielectric mate-
rial. In Fig. 6, the dc electric field is plotted on one axis and
the rf electric field on the other. The fields are normalized to
the frequency of the rf and also to E
, a property of the
surface material. The figure displays a set of boundaries, a
pair for each value of ␦
͑the value of ␦
for normal
incidence͒ of the surface material, inside of which multipac-
FIG. 5. Model of a single-surface multipactor in a parallel rf and normal dc
electric fields.
FIG. 6. Universal susceptibility curve for a single-surface multipactor on a
dielectric as a function of the dc and rf electric fields, shown for various
values of ␦
͑from the innermost boundaries, ␦
ϭ1.5, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0,
6.0, and 9.0͒. This assumes a distribution of emission energies for secondary
electrons, peaked at an energy E
2124 Phys. Plasmas, Vol. 5, No. 5, May 1998 Kishek et al.
tor grows. This curve can be quite useful in designing mi-
crowave components to avoid multipactor. Furthermore, as
will be shown shortly, this curve can be used to predict the
saturation level of multipactor and the amount of energy dis-
sipated, and therefore the heating of the dielectric due to
Physically, such a curve is simple to understand. The
electrons gain their energy from the rf. Hence, if the rf elec-
tric field is too low ͑high͒, the average impact energy of
electrons will become below E
͑above E
͒, and ͑in both
cases͒ the yield will drop to below unity. Hence the lower
boundary corresponds to the first crossover point, and the
upper boundary corresponds to the second crossover point.
Since the dc electric field is the restoring force, increasing it
reduces the transit time and, consequently, the energy gained
from the rf. Therefore the rf field must linearly increase with
an increasing dc field to maintain the same yield. Finally, as

increases, the range of impact energies for which ␦
Ͼ1 widens, and so does the multipactor region.
B. Saturation
In constructing the susceptibility curve ͑Fig. 6͒ we have
assumed that the charge on the window, and therefore the dc
electric field, is static and unchanging. In reality, the second-
ary emission process of the multipactor itself creates addi-
tional surface charging. A fully dynamic model has to ac-
count for such variations in the surface charge density, as
well as for the changing rf field due to the loading by the
multipactor. Such a model has been very recently
and used to predict the dynamic evolution and
saturation of multipactor on a dielectric. The loading of the rf
is accounted for using a transmission line model. The surface
charge responsible for the dc electric field is now broken into
two parts: a small fixed charge necessary to initiate the mul-
tipactor, and a time-varying part that is created by the mul-
tipactor secondaries leaving the surface. Space charge forces
between the multipactor macroparticle and the surface are
included in this model.
It is evident that there are two mechanisms responsible
for saturation ͑Fig. 7͒. Loading of the rf changes only the rf
electric field and is indicated on the susceptibility diagram as
a movement along the vertical line from A to C in Fig. 7.
The space charge forces and the dynamic growth of the sur-
face charge density correspond to a change in the dc electric
field rather than the rf, and are indicated by a movement on
the horizontal line from A to B. Since saturation is a combi-
nation of these two effects, it must occur at the lower bound-
ary, where the impact energy averages around the first cross-
over point. Simulations have revealed that the effect of the
loading is very small in this case ͑the dielectric window is a
nonresonant structure͒, and therefore saturation occurs near
point B. These simulations, which follow the dynamic evo-
lution, confirm the validity of the susceptibility curves de-
rived from the kinematic model ͑Fig. 6͒.
It is now straightforward to estimate the surface charging
of the dielectric, as well as the power deposited on the di-
electric surface, by the multipactor. The remarkable result is
that this power is independent of most external parameters
͑only weakly dependent on the details of the distribution of
emission energies͒ and is of the order of 0.5%–1% of the rf
Yet this amount can be sufficient to overheat the
window and lead to breakage, and the results of this theory
compare favorably with experimental measurements.
A. Comparison of multipactor on dielectrics to that
on metals
It is instructive now to contrast the two cases of two-
surface multipactor on metals, and single-surface multipactor
on a dielectric. Although in both cases the discharge is found
to saturate with an impact energy in the vicinity of the first
cross-over point, E
, the saturation mechanisms are quite
different. Resonant cavities are quite sensitive to loading and
detuning by the multipactor, which eventually lead to its
saturation. The large amount of energy and slow response
time make the passage of the cavity voltage through narrow
multipactor bands very difficult, as multipactor can readily
grow to a large extent and ‘‘lock in’’ the voltage. Dielectric
windows, on the other hand, are much less sensitive to such
loading and saturate primarily by space charge forces. The
proximity of the charges to the dielectric surface, unlike the
two-surface configuration, further aids the space charge
forces. The most striking difference, however, is the absence
of the resonance condition on the transit time in the single-
surface case. This greatly widens the parameter space for
multipactor and makes the dielectric surface much more sus-
ceptible. Even though the power dissipated by multipactor on
a dielectric window is relatively small, the poor heat conduc-
tivity of dielectrics possibly makes it sufficient to destroy the
B. Summary
In light of the historical development of multipactor
theory, the theories presented in this paper survey the first
attempt on multipactor susceptibility curves and saturation
FIG. 7. Evolution of a single-surface multipactor on a dielectric. Point A
designates an initial combination of electric fields that permit multipactor
growth. At saturation, point B is reached.
2125 Phys. Plasmas, Vol. 5, No. 5, May 1998 Kishek et al.
from dynamic considerations, taking into account the inter-
action with the surrounding rf structure and the material
properties of the surface. Computer simulations have re-
vealed the time evolution of the discharge, the dependence
on materials, a new phase-focusing mechanism among mul-
tiple electron sheets, and the relative importance of the vari-
ous saturation mechanisms. The results of this study are well
in agreement with experimental observations.
In the development of these theories, we have benefited
from conversations with C. M. Armstrong, J. Benford, C. K.
Birdsall, M. Brennan, K. Brown, D. Chernin, W. Getty, V. P.
Gopinath, E. Haebel, J. Haimson, J. P. Holloway, S. Isa-
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Poirier, R. Rimmer, S. Riyopoulos, J. Shiloh, J. J. Song, G.
Thomas, J. P. Verboncoeur, J. Wang, and P. Wilson.
This work was supported by the Multidisciplinary Uni-
versity Research Initiative ͑MURI͒, managed by the Air
Force Office of Scientific Research and subcontracted
through Texas Tech University, by the Department of Navy
Grant N00014-97-1-G001 issued by the Naval Research
Laboratory, by the Northrop Grumman Industrial Affiliates
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C. K. Birdsall and W. B. Bridges, Electron Dynamics of Diode Regions
͑Academic, New York, 1966͒; also O. Hachenberg and W. Brauer, Adv.
Electron. Electron Phys. XI, 413 ͑1959͒.
J. R. M. Vaughan, IEEE Trans. Electron Devices ED-36, 1963 ͑1989͒;
verified experimentally in A. Shih and C. Hor, IEEE Trans. Electron De-
vices ED-40, 824 ͑1993͒.
We remark that Eq. ͑1a͒ is not exact for nonzero initial velocity, because
in such a case the maximum stable phase ␪
is no longer given by the
simple expression arctan (2/N␲) derived for zero emission velocity, but is
nevertheless sufficiently accurate.
S. Ramo, Proc. IRE 27, 584 ͑1939͒; also W. Shockley, J. Appl. Phys. 9,
635 ͑1938͒.
August Valfells, R. A. Kishek, and Y. Y. Lau, Phys. Plasmas 5, 300
2126 Phys. Plasmas, Vol. 5, No. 5, May 1998 Kishek et al.
Pres. PAC'09 Conf., Vancouver, BC
4-8 May (2009)
BNL 90592-2009-CP
R. Busby, D.A. Dimitrov, and J.R. Cary
Tech-X Corporation
Boulder, CO 80303
I. Ben-Zvi, X. Chang, J. Keister, E. Muller, T. Rao, J. Smedley, and Q. WU
Brookhaven National Laboratory
Upton, NY 11973-5000
*This manuscript has been authored by Brookhaven Science Associates, LLC under
Contract No. DC-AC02-98CHI0886 with the U.S. Department of Energy. The United
States Government retains, and the publisher, by accepting the article for publication,
acknowledges, a world-wide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this
manuscript, or allow others to do so, for the United States Government purposes.
This work was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United
States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor
any of their employees, nor any of their contractors, subcontractors, or their employees,
makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility
for the accuracy, completeness, or any third party's use or the results of such use of any
information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would
not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial
product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does
not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the
United States Government or any agency thereof or its contractors or subcontractors.
The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect
those of the United States Government or any agency thereof
R.Busby, D. A. Dimitrovl, J. R. Cary, Tech-X Corp., Boulder, CO 80303, USA
I. Ben-Zvi, X. Chang, J. Keister, E. Muller, T. Rao, J. Smedley, Q. Wu, BNL, Upton, NY 11973, USA
The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) contributes
fundamental advances to nuclear physics by colliding a
wide range of ions. A novel electron cooling section, which
is a key component of the proposed luminosity upgrade
for RHIC, requires the acceleration of high-charge elec-
tron bunches with low emittance and energy spread. A
promising candidate for the electron source is the recently
developed concept of a high quantum efficiency photoin-
jector with a diamond amplifier [1]. To assist in the devel-
opment of such an electron source, we have implemented
algorithms within the VORPAL particle-in-cell framework
for modeling secondary electron and hole generation, and
for charge transport in diamond. The algorithms include
elastic, phonon, and impurity scattering processes over a
wide range of charge carrier energies. Results from simula-
tions using the implemented capabilities will be presented
and discussed.
A new concept for a photo-cathode with a diamond am-
plifier was recently proposed [1] and is currently under ac-
tive development [2, 3]. The diamond amplified photo-
cathode (DAP) has demonstrated the potential to address
the need for high peak and average current, high brightness
and low thermal emittance electron beams in current and
future accelerator-based systems. Moreover, the DAP has
negligible contamination problems, requires two orders of
magnitude less laser power, and is expected to have a long
lifetime in comparison to existing photo-cathodes.
The idea for the DAP operation consists of generating
first a beam of electrons using a conventional photocath-
ode. These are the primary electrons that are accelerated
to energies of about 10 keY before impacting a diamond
window. When these primary electrons enter into the dia-
mond, they experience inelastic scattering processes lead-
ing to the generation of secondary electrons and holes. Any
secondary electron or a hole that is produced with a suf-
ficiently high energy can also participate in such inelastic
processes, generating more electron-hole (e-h) pairs. These
inelastic scattering processes continue until none ofthe free
electrons and holes has sufficiently high energy to gener-
ate additional e-h pairs. However, the total number of pro-
duced secondary electrons is generally much larger than
* We are grateful to the US DoE for supporting this work under the
DE-FG02-06ER84509 grant.
the number of primary electrons. The free charged carriers
also experience inelastic scattering involving the emission
or absorption of phonons (lattice excitations). If an exter-
nal field is applied in the diamond, the free electrons and
holes will start drifting in opposite directions. Large num-
bers of the secondary electrons are transported through the
diamond and emitted from one of its surfaces. Diamond
emission surfaces are prepared to have a negative electron
affinity (NEA) in order to increase the emission. The elec-
trons are emitted into the accelerating cavio/ of an electron
To optimize the performance of the DAP concept, it is of
considerable interest to understand the generation of secon-
daries and their transport in diamond samples with different
characteristics (thickness, concentration and type of impu-
rities, surface effects at both metal coated and NEA sur-
faces) and how a diamond amplifier couples to the overall
operation of the complete photoinjector system. To address
this problem, we have been developing models, within the
VORPAL [4] computational framework, for simulation of
secondary electron generation and charge transport in dia-
mond. Initially, we implemented models for the inelastic
scattering leading to generation of secondary electrons and
holes [5]. Here, we report on our work to enable the sim-
ulation of charge transport in diamond. The ability to sim-
ulate both secondary electron generation and charge trans-
port allows us to investigate electron gain from diamond in
a transmission mode setup (D. A. Dimitrov et al. in these
The short time scale (of the order of 100 fs) dynamics of
electrons in diamond with medium range of energies (from
about 50 eV to 10 keV) was treated by considering elastic
and inelastic scattering processes, with the latter leading
to generation of secondary electrons and holes [6, 7, 8].
For the inelastic scattering, we implemented first the Ash-
ley model described by Ziaja et al. [6, 7] and considered
secondary electron generation effects with it [5]. Recently,
we also implemented the TPP-2 optical model for the in-
elastic scattering that produces scattering rates in better
agreement [8] with the rates from band-structure calcula-
tions [9] at low energies (f'.J 10 eV). For the elastic scat-
tering in the medium energy range we used the rates given
in Ref. [8] but our implementation [5] is based on methods
from semiconductor device simulations [10]. The scatter-
ing rates for the elastic and the inelastic (calculated with
'" ,.
tic phonons and the three optical phonons considered are
shown in the bottom plot of Fig. 1 at T = 300 K. The
9 and f type rates are for transitions between parallel and
perpendicular valleys, respectively. Decreasing the temper-
ature of diamond reduces these rates [11]. For comparison,
the rates for scattering of electrons from charged impuri-
ties (using the model from Ref. [11]) at two concentrations
is also shown together with the electron-phonon scattering
rates. The data plotted in Fig. 1 shows that in the medium
electron energy range, the rates for secondary electron gen-
eration and for elastic scattering are several orders of mag-
nitude larger than the electron-phonon and charged impu-
rity scattering ones. However, at low electron energies (10
eV and lower) the secondary electron generation rates are
comparable to the electron-phonon rates. Note that mod-
eling of electron transport with energies close to the bot-
tom of the conduction banddoes not include elastic scat-
tering [9] from the periodic potential of the carbon ions as
done for the medium energy range [6].
We have implemented a general Monte Carlo algorithm
to handle all scattering processes (it also includes null col-
lisions [10] to increase the efficiency). In between scatter-
ing events, the particle-in-cell algorithms in VORPAL [4]
provide the capability to self-consistently move particles
interacting with electromagnetic fields.
Energy (eV)
« •. imp. deDII. 8e2O
•• , imp. deDII. 1.64e20
:.: :::::
_. g3Abs
_ g3Emit
_. t3Ab.
- f3Emit

the TPP-2 model) processes are shown in the top plot of
Fig. 1.
Figure 1: The top plot shows the inelastic scattering rates
for generation of secondary electrons and holes (calculated
from the TPP-2 model) together with the elastic rates in the
medium energy range. The bottom plot shows the rates for
electron-phonon (low energy inelastic) and impurity (elas-
tic) scattering processes.
The free (conduction band) electrons in diamond also ex-
perience low-energy inelastic scattering with phonons (lat-
tice excitations) and elastic scattering from charged impuri-
ties. Charge transport cannot be simulated accurately with-
out including the electron-phonon scattering. These inelas-
tic processes lead to additinal relaxation of the the electron
energies to reach the drift state in an applied field. At low
fields, free electrons have energies close to the bottom of
the conduction band and drift with temperature effectively
equal to the temperature of the diamond crystal (a highly
desirable property for generation of beams with low ther-
mal emittance).
For the low-energy inelastic scattering with optical and
acoustic phonons we implemented Monte Carlo algorithms
based on the models given by Jacoboni and Reggiani [11].
In diamond, these models approximate the energy bands
with a parabolic dependence on the electron wave vector
and have ellipsoidal constant energy surfaces. Both in-
tervalley and intravalley electron-phonon processes are in-
cluded. The rates for the emission and absorption of acous-
In this Section, we discuss representative results from
simulations with the implemented models on electron"
transport after secondary electrons and holes are generated
using one of the models for inelastic scattering. We used
the Ashley model for the results here and primary electron
energy of 2.7 keY. We reported effects related to the sec-
ondary electron generation with this model in a previous
study [5] and present only new results from the transport
simulations here.
The domain was split into a three-dimensional grid, typ-
ically of 24 x 24 x 24 cells, with a cell edge size of 0.1
J.1m. For the simulations described here, a small time step
(usually 8 x 10-
s) was used during the creation of the
secondary electrons (to resolve the mean free time for these
processes) which happens during the first fewhundred fem-
toseconds. Phonon scattering was not enabled during this
time interval. At the end of this interval, the VORPAL data
was dumped, the input file modified to increase the time
step (for faster simulation runs while still resolving the
mean free times of the low energy scattering processes),
and to enable scattering of the free charged carriers with
phonons. The total propagation time of these simulations
was approximately 20 ps.
We specifically studied the dependence of the drift ve-
locity obtained with the phonon scattering models on the
applied external field magnitudes' in a range values from
0.05 to 10 MV/m. This is a range of interest for use in
diamond amplified photo-cathodes. Our goal was to ver-
ify that the models can describe the transport of electron
clouds with drift velocities in agreement with experimental
measurements for this range of applied fields.
0. 0.6
~ 0.4
~ 0.2

t Ips)
10 12
framework for simulation of secondary electron generation
and transport in diamond. We presented results from trans-
port simulations to determine the electron drift velocity de-
pendence on the applied field. These simulations test the
implemented electron-phonon scattering models. The drift
velocity obtained from VORPAL agrees well with experi-
mental data and more detailed band-structure calculations
for the fields of interest. This gives us confidence that
the electron-phonon models we implemented in VORPAL
are adequate to simulate electron transport in diamond for
studying DAP properites. In future developments, we will
investigate how to incorporate models of electron emission
from diamond surfaces with negative electron affinities and
effects related to trapping of electrons in diamond.
Figure 2: The drift velocity evolution at two applied fields
indicate the rate of convergence to the (time) average values
(given in the legend).
The relaxation behavior of the drift velocity to steady
state from simulations at two field values is shown Fig. 2.
The results show that it takes of the order of a few pi-
coseconds to reach the steady state. The relaxation time
decreases when increasing the applied field.
'. •


~ •

0.1 1 10
Electric Field Magnitude (MV/m)
Figure 3: The obtained average electron drift velocity vs
applied field from VORPAL simulations of electron trans-
port in diamond agrees well with experimental data.
The dependence of the average electron drift velocity
on the applied field magnitude obtained from the VOR-
PAL simulations with the models we implemented for the
electron-phonon scattering is shown in Fig. 3. These val-
ues agree well with experimental data and the more de-
tailed, band-structure Monte Carlo simulation results given
by Watanabe et ale [9].
We described here the overall modeling capabilities
we have implemented within the VORPAL computational
[1] I. Ben-Zvi, X. Chang, P. D. Johnson, 1. Kewisch, and T. Rao.
Secondary emission enhanced photoinjector. C-AD Acceler-
ator Physics Report C-A/AP/149, BNL, 2004.
[2] X. Chang, 1. Ben-Zvi, A. Burrill, S. Hulbert, P. D. Johnson,
1. Kewisch, T. Rao, 1. Smedley, Z. Segalov, and Y. Zhao.
Measurement of the secondary emission yield of a thin di-
amond window in transmission mode. In C. Horak, editor,
2005 Particle Accelerator Conference. IEEE, number 2251-
[3] X. Chang, I. Ben-Zvi, A. Burrill, J. Grimes, T. Rao,
Z. Segalov, 1. Smedley, Q. WU Recent Progress on the Dia-
mond Amplified Photo-cathode Experiment In 2007 Particle
Accelerator Conference. IEEE, pp. 2044-6, 2007.
[4] C. Nieter and 1. R. Cary. VORPAL: a versatile plasma simu-
lation code. 1. Comput. Phys., 196:448-473, 2004.
[5] D. A. Dimitrov, R. Busby, D. L. Bruhwiler, J. R. Cary, 1. Ben-
Zvi, T. Rao, X. Chang, 1. Smedley, Q. Wu 3D Simulations of
Secondary Electron Generation and Transport in a Diamond
Amplifier for Photocathodes In 2007 Particle Accelerator
Conference. IEEE, pp. 3555-7,2007.
[6] B. Ziaja, D. van der Spoel, A. Szoke, and J. Hajdu. Auger-
electron cascades in diamond and amorphous carbon. Phys.
Rev. B, 64(214104-1/8), 2001.
[7] B. Ziaja, A. Szoke, D. van der Spoel, and J. Hajdu. Space-
time evolution ofelectron cascades in diamond. Phys. Rev. B,
66:024116-1/9, 2002.
[8] B. Ziaja, R. A. London, and 1. Hajdu. Unified model of
secondary electron cascades in diamond. 1. Appl. Phys.,
97:064905-1/9, 2005.
[9] T. Watanabe, T. Teraji, T. Ito, Y. Kamakura, and K. Taniguchi
Monte Carlo simulations of electron transport properties of
diamond in high electric fields using full band structure 1.
Appl. Phys. 95:4866-74, 2004.
[10] M. Lundstrom. Fundamentals of Carrier Transport. Cam-
bridge University Press, second edition, 2000.
[11] C. Jacoboni and L. Reggiani The Monte Carlo method for
the solution of charge transport in semiconductors with ap-
plications to covalent materials Rev. Mod. Phys., 64:645-705,
Oscillator-Generator Powered by
Secondary Electron Emission

By Bruce Darrow Gaither,
Tulsa, Oklahoma

The instant invention discloses a generator of electricity which is
produced by a self-oscillating electron multiplier wherein the startup
power is replaced by secondary electron emission. It is a purpose of
the present application to present an oscillator which will amplify the
initial input of electrons through the use of secondary emission
coatings on the electrodes. It is further an objective of the invention
to apply part of the electrons so multiplied as feedback to the input of
the vacuum tube, so that the oscillatory multiplication of electrons
will continue under self-power and without any further input of
electricity from outside sources.

In 1902, Austin and Starke reported that the metal surfaces impacted
by cathode rays emitted a larger number of electrons than were

Numerous subsequent inventions applied the secondary emission
phenomena to various uses, such as film sound, signal amplification,
scintillation counting, radar jamming and a multiplicity of other

In the 1930’s radio tubes began to apply secondary emission
materials in vacuum tubes to amplify signals and multiply electrons.
The technique of coating electrodes in tubes with materials which
exhibit a high secondary emission coefficient continues to today, and
it is upon this foundation that the present invention depends.

When an electrode coated with emissive material is bombarded with
electrons then it emits additional electrons in a multiplicative manner.
Early devices depended upon metal oxides of various sorts and those
materials exhibited secondary electron emission in the range of 4 to 8
fold multiplication of initial electron input.

Since the 1930’s new materials and configurations have been tested
and modern secondary emission materials can exhibit secondary
emission coefficients as high as 60-100 fold multiplication.

Thus, classic tube designs have been given a new vitality by the
advances in materials and component parts. A higher secondary
emission coefficient results in an additional multiplication of initial
electron input, and that means that a greater portion of the multiplied
electrons can be diverted from the output of vacuum tubes and
reapplied to the input of the tube, so that outside power sources can
be turned off once the device is started.

The present device improves upon the configuration disclosed by the
Farnsworth Multipactor Oscillator and Amplifier. In the various
devices employing that configuration cathodes and anodes were
coated with secondarily emissive materials. Cathodes were placed on
each end of the tube and a positively-biased anode was placed in the
middle. The cathodes on each end were then continually reversed in
polarity, so that one end was negative while the other was positive,
and then they were reversed in charge. This change in polarity was
accomplished at a frequency which resulted in initial electron input
being multiplied as it bounced back and forth between the electrodes.

The instant invention constitutes an improvement upon the classic
configuration because the modern materials allow the oscillator to be
used as a generator of electricity while the device is being powered by
it’s own internally-produced current.

Wound around the outside of the vacuum tube is an electrical coil.
This serves to focus the stream of electrons as they near the midpoint
of the tube where the positively charged anode is located. If the anode
is in the form of a ring then the focused stream of electrons are
attracted in the direction of the anode but their focus causes them to
miss the ring and instead pass through the bullseye and then continue
toward the second electrode.

The anode may also be formed of a conductive substance in the form
of a wire mesh. The electromagnetic lens is still used. In either
configuration of the anode, the electrodes which impinge upon the
anode may be extracted from the tube and applied to output. In either
ring or grid anode configuration there is provided ample room for the
electrons to pass through and for the anode to be permeable to

The relationship between the travel time for the electron clouds of
secondary electrons and the frequency of the oscillation of the
cathodes is important. The electron movement and the frequency of
the alternating polarity to the cathodes needs to be in phase so that
the oscillations of the tube itself will continue. So the time of the
cycle of the electricity applied from the outside to the two cathodes
must be twice the time of flight for the cloud of electrons.

The cloud of electrons is not, of course, in one location at any time.
They occupy an amorphous space between the electrodes. Thus the
problem of phase control between the travel time of the cloud and the
frequency of the applied voltage can never be exact. But the frequency
of the movement of the electron cloud tends to predominate over the
applied voltage to a certain extent. Nevertheless it is important to
keep the two frequencies in phase as much as possible.

It should be noted that the electrons, once they pass all they way
through the tube and strike the other cathode, multiply and produce
another cloud of electrons which are thereupon accelerated toward
the first cathode. The cycle of endless multiplication results in a flow
toward the anode due to the increased electron density, and the
anode will tend to extract electrons in each half cycle in an amount
equal to the excess of secondary of primary electrons.

Eventually space charge will build up to the point that an equilibrium
level will be reached within the tube.

Electrostatic beam focusing by using a coil wound around the middle
of the tube will tend to lessen the space charge by minimizing the
spread of the electrons as they near the anode in the center.

Philo Farnsworth patented many secondary emission devices,
including oscillators. He remarked that in a tube where the two
cathodes were 5.5 centimeters apart, and applied frequency to the
cathodes was 30 megahertz and 100 megahertz that the secondary
emission oscillator required input power of 350 volts and 800 volts

As stated in US patent 2,168,052, “It is now well known that
multipactors or electron multipliers can be made to generate self-
sustaining oscillations, methods of causing such oscillations in
various modes having been described in the patents of Philo T.
Farnsworth, No. 2,071,516 granted February 23, 1937, and No.
2,128,580 granted August 30, 1938, among others. Circuits utilized in
causing these tubes to generate such oscillations are, in general, of
great simplicity, usually involving merely a parallel resonant circuit
connecting two of the elements of the tube, together with a source of
direct current and potential for supplying the primary energy. In
general, within reasonable limits, ease of starting oscillation and
stability of oscillation when started in tubes of this character
increases with the size of the tube, with the voltage applied to the tube,
and with the current drawn.”

As a general design consideration a smaller transit distance for the
electrons makes it easier to accelerate the electrons, while a larger
oscillator makes space charge saturation less of a factor. So any
configuration of the instant invention would involve an optimal
combination of these two competing design considerations.

A simple battery can be used to provide the needed power for the
present invention, with a Cockroft-Walton voltage multiplier being
interposed between the battery and the tube in order to step up the
voltage to the required level.

This kind of ladder voltage multiplier is composed of a series of
capacitors and diodes. These electronic components are cheap and
readily available on the open market. The well-known configuration
tends to double the voltage at each step, so that it is referred to as a
ladder. Each succeeding stage doubles the voltage from the previous
stage and simultaneously cuts the previous amperage in half. Atomic
accelerators used this kind of voltage multiplier to achieve high
voltages for their early-day experiments. They are designed to take a
low voltage and to step it up to a high voltage. But the battery will
supply the power necessary to energize the Cockroft-Walton circuit
which then makes a bias of positive polarity for the anode in the

The regime of the oscillator is to use low voltage for the cathodes and
high voltage for the positive anode.

The oscillator multiplies power, meaning that the number of electrons
are increased, and the amperage increased. Part of the multiplied
output of the oscillator is used to recharge the battery, part of the
output is used, if necessary to power the frequency resonant circuit
which flip-flops the cathode polarity. The device tends to be self-
oscillating once it begins operating, and the mere maintenance of the
anode in positive bias tends to attract free electrons without input of
additional electrons.

The type of oscillator circuits used by the Farnsworth inventions can
be replaced by modern crystal oscillators or ceramic oscillators, which
are ubiquitous and cheap today.

Thus, new coating materials result secondary emission coefficients
ten or twenty times higher than the materials used in the original
Farnsworth oscillators. In addition, semiconductors and transistors
replace the old fashioned circuits in the prior art. Therefore the
current osciallator tube is an improvement over the prior art.


In the drawings, Figure One illustrates the basic configuration of the
oscillator tube. The first cathode, 1, is negative in the initial cycle of
the oscillator. The second cathode, 3., is located on the other end of
the vacuum tube, and is charged positively on the first cycle. The
anode, 2, is located in the middle of the tube and it is always charged
with a positive bias.

A battery or other current source is located at the bottom of the
diagram in Figure One. The input current travels from the battery to a
clock frequency transistor or chip which impresses the current with a
frequency of either fixed or variable timing. Then the clock frequency
is fed to a flip-flop chip or transistor which serves to divide the
frequency into two outputs, one at the top of the cycle and one at the
bottom. So a positive charge is applied to one cathode while a
negative charge is sent to the other cathode. Then, at the applied
frequency, the polarity of those cathode inputs is alternated. One
cathode is positive while the other is negative at all times. Electrons
are emitted from the negative cathode and are attracted and
accelerated toward the positively-charged anode, 2, and the other

Figure Two shows a modification of the present device in which
output from the oscillator tube is reapplied to the input sequence.

Figure Three is a diagram of the basic oscillation cycle, in which
cathode, 1, is negative and cathode 3, is positive at step one, and then
the poles reverse and the cathode, 1, is positive while cathode, 3, is
negative in the second half-cycle. Electrons are emitted from the
negative cathode at each step. When the electrodes so accelerated
impact the other cathode with sufficient velocity then secondary
electrons are emitted. So a cloud of say fifty or sixty electrons bounces
off the second cathode and that cathode is then attracted toward the
positive anode, 2.

After the first cloud of electrons hits the cathode then that cloud is no
longer accelerated. The multiplied cloud is another cloud and it is the
cloud which goes back in the other direction. So the original cloud of
electrons merely drifts without acceleration and they eventually orbit
toward the positive anode, 2, where they are extracted and sent to

Farnsworth sometimes found it convenient to make a tube with five
electrodes instead of three, with one anode and four cathodes. The
only difference was that there was an additional cup placed behind
the active cathodes to help catch the stray electrons after impact. But
the oscillator tube worked the same way. Said prior art is disclosed in
Figure Four and constitutes one of the possible modifications of the
current invention, equipped however with improved emissive
coatings and miniaturized components.


US 2168052 SNYDER

Self-Charging Cellphones and PDA’s
regenerated by Secondary Electron

By Bruce Darrow Gaither,
Tulsa, Oklahoa

The proliferation of innumerable handheld devices such as cell
phones and personal desk assistants has created a need for a
longlasting method of powering said devices. Presently batteries have
been employed for this purpose. Microwave wireless systems or solar
power have also been proposed as means to recharge the batteries.
The present invention discloses a method and apparatus for first
recharging batteries, and secondly to power the device during usage
and simultaneous recharging of the battery.

The principle of secondary electron emission has been known since
Austin and Starke reported that the metal surfaces impacted by
cathode rays emitted a larger number of electrons than were incident
in 1902. Certain materials exhibit an electron multiplication effect
when they are bombarded with high velocity electrons.

Radio and television tubes starting in the 1930’s employed secondary
emission materials and numerous devices and applications using
electron multiplication have been devised, such as radiation detectors,
photomultipliers, well logging devices, night vision goggles and digital
tv display devices.

The different kinds of secondary electron emissive materials have
been developed and these various materials multiply the bombarding
electrons at their own coefficient of emission, and the voltage used to
accelerate the bombarding electrons is known to be a major variable
in these devices.

Also, the secondary emission materials exhibit differing emissive
characteristics depending upon the spectra of radiation with which
they are bombarded.

Figure One below details the known characteristics of various
secondarily emissive materials as to the wavelength of the light to
which the materials respond with electron multiplication. Thus, some
materials are known to multiply electrons at the wavelength which
corresponds to visible light. But some materials are not emissive to
visible light, but they multiply electrons which are in the infrared
light spectrum.

The applications of secondary emissive materials to night vision
goggles provides the principle upon which the current invention is
based. These goggles apply light which strikes the emissive surfaces in
the infrared range. The human body is known to emit infrared
radiation due to its’ heat. When the heat image is received the
electrode multiplies that signal until it can be made into a visible light
image and transmitted to the goggle eyepieces.

The instant device employs the same characteristic of the human
body to emit infrared radiation. When the device is held in the hand
or placed in a pocket near the body it becomes irradiated with
infrared radiation. The emissive materials on the electrode then
multiply that signal, and then the multiplied electrons generate
electricity to power the device and to recharge the battery while it is
being used by an individual.

The initial electrons gathered from the infrared source need to be
accelerated to high enough velocity to maximize the secondary
emission, so a battery is used to power an anode with a positive
charge bias. A voltage multiplier, such as a Cockroft-Walton circuit
can increase the voltage of the battery to a high enough bias to attract
the incoming electrons. When the electrons strike the emissive
surface then they are gathered and the effect is a multiplication of
CURRENT. Part of the electrons so gathered goes to recharge said
battery and part of the current goes to meet the power requirements
of the handheld device.

Thus the cell phone or PDA will not run short of charge while it is
being held by the individual, and the battery will recharge by the self-
produced current from electron multiplication.

Figure One, Photomultiplier Handbook, Burle Industries, Table 1


By Bruce Darrow Gaither
Tulsa, Oklahoma


2,135,645 Farnsworth 11/1938
2,174,487 Farnsworth 09/1939
2,553,687 Quam 12/1950
3,128,408 Goodrich 04,/1964
3,478,213 Simon 11/1969
3,699,404 Simon 10/1972
4,041,342 Catanese 08/1977
4,410,902 Malik 10/1983
4,602,190 Evankow 07/1986
5,117,149 Fijol 05/1992


A small initial current is sent through an electron multiplier which is self-energized.
Once the multiplier is in operation the input current is shut off and said multiplier then
supplies electricity to a second electron multiplier which is a multistage device. Multiple
steps of electron multiplication occur until sufficient electricity is obtained to energize an
electric motor which powers an automobile.


The instant disclosure relates to the subject of electric cars. Usually the electric
automobile is powered by an array of 12 volt batteries, but the current invention improves
the state of the art by providing for a power system based upon secondary electron
emission similar to the photomultipliers manufactured by Hamamatsu Photonics and the
classic Multipactor tubes invented by Philo Farnsworth.

An electric motor is a device which is well known to those acquainted with the art.
Usually such motors will have requirements for electricity which can be expressed in
terms of volts and amps, and any combination of batteries, alternators or electric
generators (whether powered by gasoline or electricity) will satisfy the power
requirements of the electric motor which turns the wheels of the car.

In this instance an initial current is sent through a current multiplier which is scaled to a
degree which is designed to dovetail with the requirements of the electric motor. Thus,
the hereinafter-described invention is meant to be a general description of the invention
and it is not meant to foreclose all possible permutations or variations of the invention
which may be configured to meet the requirements of any particular electric motor, but
this disclosure is meant to include all possible variations thereof without limitation by the
illustrations or descriptions hereinafter used by the inventor.

There is presented a current multiplier which may be fabricated in the form of a vacuum
tube or a semiconductor device or a combination of the two.
The initial electric current for this device may be visible light, as in the manner of the
photocathodes of Hamamatsu, or a current from a battery or generator. The current is
conveyed through one or more cathode/anodes and is multiplied thereby until the current
meets the needs of the electric motor of the vehicle.

Thus, a small current initiates the process and a multiplication process occurs which
increases the number of electrons to the desired level, and then the mutliplied electrons
are finally subjected to transformers or voltage regulators to more closely guarantee a
constant current of the desired quantity and quality for the use of the electric motor.

It has been long known that certain substances exhibit a "secondary electron emissivity"
when they are bombarded with electrons. When these substances are exposed to a stream
of electrons then they emit electrons on their own. Some of these elements in an amount
greater than unity. Thus, when an element or alloy emits electrons in a ratio greater than
1.0 (electrons emitted/electrons inserted) it is called "greater than unity". In the days of
radio tubes a number of such substances were studied carefully and their secondary
emissivity charted. Substances such as Cesium and Magnesium were found to emit
secondary electrons in a ratio of up to 8 times the number of initial electrons by which
they were bombarded. A long list of other substances, alloys and layered combinations of
metals and other elements have been described.

Based upon this data the golden age of radio employed vacuum tubes which depended
upon the process of secondary emission. These radio tubes found a number of
applications in other fields of early electronics, including the field of television. Philo T.
Farnsworth, the inventor of television, designed a number of devices employing
secondary emission and which featured multiple impacts of electrons upon anodes within
a vacuum tube. He termed these devices "multipactors" for the multiple impacts upon the
secondary emissive materials. In one such device Farnsworth calculated that he could
produce over 4 times the initial number of electrons on each successive impact, and that
if he fabricated a vacuum tube containing multiple such impacts in succession then he
could generate 4x4x4x4...etc. Thus, the multiplicative effect of successive cathode/anode
combinations with each step being higher than unity, finally produced a huge
multiplication of the initial current.

Then Farnsworth invented a device which took part of the output of the secondary
emission cathodes and anodes and then reapplied it to the input of the device, so as to use
a regenerative feedback. This device resulted in a self-sustaining multipactor, which,
once it is started, would continue to multiply electrons without the addition of any
external power. He noted that in a cold-cathode configuration wherein light was used to
trigger a photo-emission to start this device that the input would be of a variable and not a
constant or predictable level, and that the output would vary according to the input. But if
a hot cathode or a battery-powered or Ac-powered input were used to initiate the process
that the level of input would be constant and the multiplication effect would be linear.

The design of these Farnsworth multipactor tubes is included in the Figures below and
the aforestated Farnsworth patents are incorporated herein by reference as if fully set
forth herein.

In the instant device the output desired is to be of a constant and predictable level, so
there is provided a non-photonic initial input in some configurations. In those
configurations of the current invention wherein light is to be used to stimulate photo-
emission to trigger the multiplication, then additional devices and circuits must be
employed to assure the predictable and constant linear multiplication required to power
the electric motor.

As the state of the art progressed most of the radio tubes were replaced with
semiconductor devices which performed the same function. This has likewise been the
case with secondary emission devices. The multipactor tube was microengineered and
placed on a semiconductor chip. The state of the art in photomultipliers (PMTs) has also
evolved into smaller and more efficient devices, but due to the characteristics of cesium
which deteriorates in the atmosphere, and because the atmosphere is insulative and not
conductive to electricity, the evolving devices must still be enclosed in a vacuum
envelope, whether they are in tubes or semiconductor chips.

Heating occurs in the multiplication of electrons by secondary emission. Sufficient
cooling must be provided in the form of air or water cooling.
These elements are not discussed or included in this patent disclosure. In some
configurations the target electrode may need to be charged to a positive potential that
exceeds the potential of the emitting electrode so that the electrons will be attracted at the
target with sufficient speed to penetrate the secondary emissive material sufficiently to
initiate electron multiplication. But secondary emissive materials of a very low work
function or of a negative electron affinity will tend to negate the need of charging the
target electrode to a positive potential. In any event, a battery can be used to provide the
initial current for this target charging, and the potential can be regulated by using a
Cockroft-Walton circuit to produce a sufficient potential as desired for the target

It is for this reason that the device, though self-energized, cannot be termed a perpetua
mobilia device. The self-energization is a function of the heat generated and low work
function of the specialized materials, and is not violative of the laws of thermodynamics.
The well-recognized principle of secondary emission over unity merely provides
scintillation to the initial tube once it is already in operation.

Einstein's law is that theorem which describes the work function involved in the process
of photoemission. In the work which won Einstein the Nobel Prize

he determined the amount of kinetic energy, E, of an emitted photoelectron.


Where hv is the energy quanta of the light and phi is the amount of energy requried for
the electron to escape the surface of the metal.
Thus the energy emitted by the secondary emission substance is equal to the energy of
the light MINUS the "work function" required for the electron to escape the metal.

Therefore, it is desirable for the "work function" to be minimized in order for more
energy to be liberated by the secondary emission material.
The best coatings for the cathode/anode combinations, then, is one which has a very low
work function.

But there was devised an effect which made this work function process much more
efficient by making a NEGATIVE subtraction, which in effect ADDED to the energy
quanta of the light, as Einstein described.

In the early 1960’s, R.E. Simon while working at the RCA Laboratories developed his
revolutionary concept of Negative Electron Affinity (NEA). Electron affinity is the
energy required for an electron at the conduction-band level to escape to the vacuum
level. By suitably treating the surface of a p-type semiconductor material, the band levels
at the surface can be bent downward so that the effective electron affinity is actually
negative. Thermalized electrons in the conduction band are normally repelled by the
electron-affinity barrier; the advantage of the NEA materials is that these electrons can
now escape into the vacuum as they approach the surface. In the case of secondary
emission, secondary electrons can be created at greater depths in the material and still
escape, thus providing a much greater secondary-emission yield. In the case of
photoemission, it has been possible to achieve extended-red and infrared sensitivities
greater than those obtainable with any other known materials. The first practical
application of the NEA concept was to secondary emission. Simon and Williams An
early paper by described the theory and early experimental results of secondary emission
yields as high as 130 at 2.5 kV for GaP:Cs.

So Gallium Phosphide, treated with Cesium was the subject of this initial discovery of
Negative Electron Affinity. A number of other substances were thereafter discovered to
exhibit this negative electron affinity and therefore exhibit extremely elevated levels of
secondary emissivity multipaction.

Many of these multiplication levels, expressed in terms of "Gain" increase as the amount
of input electricity is increased. So increasing the input to the cathode/anode pairs will
further enhance the multiplication effect.

Various means then exist whereby the gain from the initial input current can be controlled.
In addition to the control of the input levels of electricity devices extrinsic to the
secondary emission devices can fine tune the current produced so that the final product is
of the levels desired to power the electric motor of the car. Such devices may include
transformers, Cockroft-Walton circuits or other ladder circuits, voltage regulators,
magnetic amplifiers or operational amplifiers might be applied in this fine-tuning process.
Sometimes the current may pick up a ripple in this multiplication process and need to be
smoothed by other devices or circuits, but these devices are all well-known to those
acquainted in the art and need not be discussed here.


This invention discloses a module which is designed to produce electric current sufficient
to power an electric motor for an automobile. Such a module includes a power source, an
array of tubes and/or semiconductor devices, and other extrinsic devices which do not
employ secondary emission but which serve to modulate and regulate the signal which
ultimately results from the secondary devices and which extrinsic devices are employed
to shape the current to meed the needs of the electric motor.

Although a solar cell or photocathode could be used to provide the initial jumpstart for
the device, the preferred embodiment should use a battery in the range of 12-15 volts.
This will assure a reliable and constant amount of electricity which will make it easier to
produce a linear amplification of the intial input.

The first of the array of secondary emission devices shall be of the type described by
Philo Farnsworth in his Self-Energized Alternate Current Multiplier, US Patent 2,174,487
(1937). In this disclosure Farnsworth describes that it is easier to start this device than it
is to get it to stop.

Thus, once the self-energized vacuum tube gets warmed up it will continue to multiply
electrons on its own and the power source can be turned off in order to save the batteries.
The batteries, then, can be recharged by the ultimate output of the module while the
secondary emission process of multiplication is carried on using internally-produced
power. In order to insure that the electrons will not scatter before they hit their target
electrodes, a magnetic focusing device may be provided in the space between the emitter
and the target electrode, and said magnetic device may be either a permanent magnet or
electromagnet whose purpose is to deflect and confine the beam of electrons.

Once the self-energized tube is multiplying electrons then that output us conveyed to the
input of secondary emission devices employing negative electron affinity and which
multiply electrons at a much higher rate of gain.

In the manner of the multistage multipactor of Philo Farnsworth, US Patent 2,135,615, a
multistage process is then initiated. In this part of the process the materials employed
shall be of the type similar to the Gallium Phosphide (Cs), which can also include
Gallium Arsenide or Gallium Nitride, or other materials which shall not be described here,
including synthetic diamond.

Using Gallium Phosphide as an example, and applying a calculation based upon a gain of
100 to 1 for each step we can easily determine that the first step would produce 100 times
as many electrons as are input from the self-energized electron multiplier. Then the
second step would be 100 times 100, or 10,000 times as many electrons. A third step
would be 100 times 10,000 or a multiplication of 1 million from the initial input of the
self-energized electron multiplier device. The graphs and formulas provided from the
Hamamatsu PMT handbook demonstrate that it is common for such devices to exhibit
gains in the range of 10
to 10

At multiplication levels of this degree then, small variations in the signal will likewise be
multiplied and can result in undesirable effects.

Therefore it is possible that an extrinsic device or circuit be interposed between the self-
energized device tube and the negative electron affinity device in order to modulate and
regulate the output of the Farnsworth device and assure, as much as possible, that the
input of the higher multiplication device be constant and smooth. A voltage regulator or
transformer or smoothing circuit can be employed at this stage. At lower levels such an
intermediate modulation extrinsic device might not need to be employed.

The operation of many electron multipliers and photomultipliers requires that an
accelerating electric field be applied to the device so that the stream of electrons will hit
the target electrodes with sufficient speed to penetrate the electrode and cause secondary
emission. In these devices a battery is sometimes used to provide a biasing charge to the
target electrode to attract the incoming electrons of opposite charge. This biasing voltage
should either meet or exceed the charge on the incoming electrons.

The greater the number of multiple electrodes the more involved the accelerating voltage
apparatus will be. In the case of a single electrode with coating of very low work function
or of negative electron affinity the accelerating voltage field may be foregone completely.
Where the voltage is required the current from a battery may pass through a Cockroft-
Walton circuit and be tapped at the appropriate step of the ladder to supply the voltage
required to each particular electrode. Thus, a separate kind of voltage multiplier such as a
CW ladder is used to step up the voltage from a battery in order to charge the electrodes
in the electron multiplier tube. If this accelerating voltage is required in the instant
invention then the output of the electron multiplier tube can be used to recharge said
battery so that the accelerating voltage can be applied as needed indefinitely and without
the need for external power. Thus, the present invention applies the prior art involving a
self-energized multipactor tube which then provides power for a second tube, with part of
the power of the secondary tube being used to either power a battery for the accelerating
voltage CW circuit, or the initial self-energized multipactor can have part of its output
diverted to power the CW circuit, and part to recharge the battery, and the remainder to
supply the second electron multiplier tube.

The selection of materials, then, is vital to the need for accelerating voltage. If a material
is used which has a very high secondary emission gain then the device will be able to
divide the current output therefrom and apply it to the accelerating voltage requirements.
Also the desired level of multiplication is known from the specifications of the electric
motor to ultimately be powered. This means that, depending upon the materials and the
motor, the second tube in the present invention may not need to be a multistage tube, and
the problem of accelerating voltage may be eliminated or lessened to a large degree. If
there is no accelerating voltage then there is no need for a separate power source for the
Cockroft-Walton circuit which might be unnecessary.

It is clear that such levels of current can be obtained by a module containing the
described array of secondary emission devices that the requirements for a simple electric
motor might be obtained with considerable ease. The ultimate output of the secondary
emission devices then will need to be adjusted so that the voltage and amperage
requirements of the electric motor be matched as perfectly as possible. The module
described herein, then, will employ well-known devices which may step down the
voltage or step up the amperage and change the frequency of the current to meet the
needs of the motor.

Current dividers will also be employed so that the ultimate current from the secondary
emission devices be divided into separate paths in order to first power the motor, and then
to recharge the battery, and also to power the headlights, windshield wipers of the
automobile. Rectifiers may be employed to convert between AC and Dc and the current
may be shaped and scaled to suit the needs of the battery charger and the auto electric
devices respectively.

The current invention represents an improvement over the current state of the art in
electric automobiles because it will produce a small and lightweight and versatile power
supply as compared with the bulky and heavy battery arrays employed at this time. The
savings in space and weight will enable the electric car to be smaller and more spacious
to the passengers and allow more carrying space. It will also constitute an improvement
in that it will not need to be recharged every 40 miles like a single battery would, and it
will not need to be plugged into Ac current overnight to recharge like the plug-in cars
require. Instead the instant invention will be completely self-contained and self-energized,
with only an initial battery for start up being employed, and that battery being recharged
after self-energization occurs.

Such a secondary emission module will be capable of powering larger electric motors,
thus advancing the art as to trucks and cargo vehicles and other work vehicles of heavier
weights, and will constitute an improvement over the golf cart type of electric cars.


Materials selected for their secondary electron emission properties may vary widely
depending upon the degree of electron multiplication needed and the cost and difficulty
in fabrication and deposition of these materials upon electrodes. In addition,
microdevices employing this principle sometimes create difficulties in the formation of
sharp points at the micro level and in the creation of vacuum spaces on the
semiconductors due to the fact that extremely high vacuum levels, beyond the normal
vacuum levels which would suffice for regular tubes. Thus, a trade-off of design
characteristics is indicated when it comes to the selection of materials for the secondary
emission of electrons.

Many materials, especially metals, exhibit secondary emission of electrons. As the graphs
indicate in the figures below, silver, magnerisum, copper, calcium, cesium, gold and
others are commonly-known elements. Next amalgams or alloys of the emissive materials
are found to multiply the initial input of electrons at elevated levels.

A silver base which is then oxidized and coated with a thin layer of cesium was the
preferred combination at one time due to the fact that it would be both photo-emissive
and cathode-emissive.

The principle of negative electron affinity and the development of new materials and
processes has expanded the range of possibilities and further elevated the gain of
secondary emission possible. Much higher levels of secondary emission have been
attained through the use of Gallium Phosphide treated with Cesium, and also with Gallim
Nitride and Cesium. Llacer & Garwin of the Stanford Linear Accelerator have predicted a
1000 fold gain for Gallium Arsenide at primary voltages of 20,000 volts. A complete
rendition of these newer materials is unnecessary here.

Recent advances have resulted in processes for the creation of thin films and coatings
involving synthetic diamonds through the chemical vapor deposition of carbon upon
substrates. Likewise research into carbon nanotubes have created another branch of
secondary emission materials. Each of these materials carries with it a separate process
for fabrication and assembly.

So there is no single material combination which is proper in this design, and this
invention is meant to include all such secondary emission materials and negative electron
affinity elements and processes for fabrication and assembly, whether stated herein or not.

But the preferred configuration is to use the tradition cesium oxide coated with cesium
for the first tube in the module due to the well-defined and predictable secondary
emission performance in this three electrode configuration, and for the negative electron
affinity materials to be used in the second tube in the module. The reasoning here is that
the first tube is to be used to create a steady and reliable power source which is
internally-generated and self-energized, and that the steady output of the first tube is then
to be applied to the second tube. Otherwise, a configuration where another power source
could apply current to a single multistage multipactor tube using negative electron
affinity materials would be likewise generative of electricity and would suit the purposes
of this invention. So, the instant invention is not meant to be limited to a two-tube design
and it may also include a single tube configuration or any other combination involving
any number of tubes in cascade design.

In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a chart showing the secondary emission yield versus
primary electron energy for various metals. It shows that Cesium
and Magnesium are the highest, with a secondary gain of about 8.

FIGURE 2 is a short discussion of Einstein's Law, which describes
the energy of an emitted photoelectron. The relevant fact in this
discussion is that the energy emitted by a metal will be the
initial energy minus the work function.

FIGURE 3 is a chart which shows the secondary emission of newer,
materials which exhibit a Negative Electron Affinity. Thus Gallium
Phosphide treated with Cesium has a gain which increases with the
increase in input boltage, with said gain approaching 100 for this
material, and comparing with Magnesium Oxide, a material with a low
work function, but not a negative affinity material.

FIGURE 4 is a graph which shows the gain of photomultipliers which have
a negative electron affinity. The gain increases as the increase in
supply voltage, reaching a peak of from 10^6 to 10^8--or one million to
one hundred million fold multiplication due to secondary emission.

FIGURE 5 is a discussion of the methodology used for the figures used in
Figure 4.

FIGURE 6 is a picture of a 1931 Pierce Arrow, a classic body design which
can be retrofitted with an electric motor powered by the present
invention. Nikola Tesla retrofitted a 1931 Pierce Arrow with an electric
motor, powered by a secondary emission tube array and module. This body type,
known as a Silber Arrow, has been chosen as the initial recipient for
the instant invention's secondary emission module.

FIGURE 7 is a diagram and description of the 1938 Multipactor patent
made by Philo Farnsworth. This figure discusses the benefits of
a multistaged series of secondary emission cathode-anodes, and
explains how a million-fold multiplication can be obtained. The second tube of the instant
invention, the secondary emission module, is to be of similar design and configuration,
but without limitation as to the number of stages of multipaction employed and without
reference to the particular materials to be used in these electrodes, as more fully
discussed above.

FIGURE 8 is a diagram of the Farnsworth Self Energized multipactor and
a description of the patent. This design takes advantage of the multiplication
of greater than unity of the secondary emissive materials, such as Cesium coated Silver
Oxide, to feedback the multiplied current to power the multipactor once
it has been started. This design has one cathode and two anodes.
Firgure 8a is a diagram and description of a multipactor oscillator by Farnsworth which
explains that the multipactor design is capable of generation of large amounts of power,
and that self-sustaining operation of the device will result from back-coupling the output
of the tube to the input, and that large amounts of power can be drawn down off of the
intermediate electrodes before the electron emissions reach the final electrode.

FIGURE 9 is a flow chart which depicts the present invention. It shows that a battery
provides the initial supply, which then passes through a self-energized multipactor.
Then the power goes to a second multiplying stage by flowing through a negative
electron affinity device, which has even greater multiplicative power.

FIGURE 10 is a perspective view of the instant invention. This figure depicts a
two-tube configuration. The power source initially actuates a self-energized
multipactor. The output of this self-energizing device then passes through a device which
contains a regulator and modulator. The signal is then input into the second tube.
The second tube contains the newer negative electron affinity materials. Once again the
current is multiplied, to an even higher degree, and then an ultimate current is obtained,
which may then be fine-tuned using a regulator and divider to dovetail the ultimate
current to the end desired. Thus the first tube provides a regular and constant current
which is self-generating, and the second tube makes use of this internally-generated
current to provide the bulk of the needed current multiplication, and finally the
current is adjusted to fit the end desired--here an electric motor for a car.

FIGURE 11 is a diagram of tube one of the secondary emission module, showing a three-
electrode configuration, and featuring one cathode and two anodes placed coaxially
thereinside the cathode. A variable capacitor and a choke coil are used to control the tube.
Figure 11 also contains a diagram of the circuit for the electric current and electrons of
the module.


What I claim is:

1. A power tube module to provide the electricity requirements of an electric motor
in an automobile or truck or other vehicle.

2. A power tube module for vehicles in which one tube employs the principle of
secondary electron emission.

3. A power tube module where the first tube using secondary emission has a three
electrod configuration, with one cathode and two anodes, placed in a concentric or
coaxial arrangement.

4. A power tube module wherein the first tube is self energized by virtue of
regenerative feedback from one of the anodes and the fact that the initial start-up
current is multiplied by the principle of secondary electron admission.

5. A power tube module wherein the first tube is self-energized after start-up and the
remaining output of said first tube is then regulated and modulated to assure
constancy and quality to signal and then said remaining output is applied to the
second tube in the module.

6. A power tube module wherein the first tube is self-energized and the remaining
output thereof is applied to the second tube, which then applies the principle of
negative electron affinity to further optimize the process of secondary electron
emission so that a multi-stage multipactor or Farnsworth tube is configured to
multiply the initial input to a still greater degree.

7. A power tube module wherein the first tube powers the second tube which then
multiplies the electron input to a great degree and then the output of the second
tube is further regulated and modulated so that it will produce an electric current
which closely meets the requirements of whichever electric motor is to be used to
power the electric vehicle.

8. A power tube module wherein the electrical current to initiate the process of
secondary emission multiplication is provided by a battery, which battery can be
switched off after the initial warmup of the first tube, and which battery can be
recharged by the ultimate output of the second tube, and which power tube
module can be operated for most of the time through the electrons internally
produced and multiplied by said secondary electron emission principle.
1 11 1







8 88 8

Figure Figure Figure Figure 8 88 8a aa a




by Bruce Darrow Gaither, by Bruce Darrow Gaither, by Bruce Darrow Gaither, by Bruce Darrow Gaither,
inventor inventor inventor inventor

By Bruce Darrow Gaither
Tulsa, Oklahoma

The present invention discloses a circular accelerator employing
secondary emission.
Numerous electron multipliers are known to the art, with most of
them configured in a linear accelerator form, with some in undular,
spiral, semicircular or other unorthodox shapes. Heretofore, few
designs have been claimed which involve a secondary emission
electron multiplier employing a circular accelerator.

This device is of a similar design to that of a cyclotron, with a circular
or toroidal vacuum chamber being the conduit in which charged
particles are accelerated and extracted. Such cyclotrons have been
reported to generate electricity in the millions of volts and to require
complicated and expensive containment and accelerating magnets
and electrostatic devices.

The instant invention is designed to generate electricity in a much
smaller amount, such as the hundreds of volts. Consequently it is an
improvement on the prior art of cyclotrons.
The present invention is designed to provide a sufficient amount of
current to power an electric auto, home or business. The
containment and accelerating devices in the present disclosure are
then much smaller and less expensive and complicated than those
required for a large-scale cyclotron.

The operation of the uniform-field cyclotron [E. 0. Lawrence, Science
72, 376 (1930)] is based on the fact that the gyrofrequency for non-
relativistic ions [Eq. (3.39)] is independent of kinetic energy.
Resonance between the orbital motion and an accelerating electric
field can be achieved for ion kinetic energy that is small compared to
the rest energy….A cyclotron has constant magnetic field magnitude
and constant rf frequency. Beam energy is limited by relativistic
effects, which destroy synchronization between particle orbits and rf
Therefore, the cyclotron is useful only for ion acceleration. The virtue
of cyclotrons is that they generate a continuous train of beam
micropulses. Cyclotrons are characterized by large-area magnetic
fields to confine ions from zero energy to the output energy
Principles of Charged particle Accelerators, Stanley Humphries,
Chapter 15.

Secondary Electron Emission has been exhibited in cyclotrons from
their inception, but this kind of secondary emission is caused by the
unintended bombardment of the containing structure by the
accelerated charged particles, and is not usually the result of plan or
design. The instant disclosure details a device in which the inside of
the toroidal channel is intentionally designed to multiply electrons
through secondary electron emission. The inside of the accelerating
channel is coated with materials which exhibit an enhanced
secondary electron emission coefficient due to their negative electron

In 1902, Austin and Starke reported that the metal surfaces impacted
by cathode rays emitted a larger number of electrons than were

Numerous subsequent inventions applied the secondary emission
phenomena to various uses, such as film sound, signal amplification,
scintillation counting, radar jamming and a multiplicity of other

In the 1930’s radio tubes began to apply secondary emission
materials in vacuum tubes to amplify signals and multiply electrons.
The technique of coating electrodes in tubes with materials which
exhibit a high secondary emission coefficient continues to today, and
it is upon this foundation that the present invention depends.

When an electrode coated with emissive material is bombarded with
electrons then it emits additional electrons in a multiplicative manner.
Early devices depended upon metal oxides of various sorts and those
materials exhibited secondary electron emission in the range of 4 to 8
fold multiplication of initial electron input.

Since the 1930’s new materials and configurations have been tested
and modern secondary emission materials can exhibit secondary
emission coefficients as high as 60-100 fold multiplication.

Materials such as gallium phosphide, gallium nitride, gallium
arsenide, magnesium coated with cesium, silver coated with cesium,
carbon nanotubes and synthetic diamonds, to name a few materials,
have demonstrated a low work function so as to exhibit enhanced
secondary electron emission when bombarded with accelerated
electrons. The instant device can operate with a coating of any of the
above-mentioned materials, or others not directly discussed here, and
said invention is not limited to construction or fabrication with any
one kind of emissive coating. For the sake of illustration, however,
this application shall use carbon nanotubes or synthetic diamonds in
a thin film as the exemplary emissive coating material.

When an electron encounters or bombards one of these emissive
materials at a sufficient velocity then it liberates additional electrons
from that material. The key, then, is to accelerate the electron so that
it attains sufficient velocity to trigger the secondary emission.

In this device a circular accelerator is used to attain that electron
velocity. An electron, being negatively charged, will be attracted to a
positively charged electrode.

The present invention involves the use of two electrodes inside an
evacuated toroidal channel. The two electrodes are semicircular in
shape and they are separated by a small gap. The accelerator principle
calls for one electrode to be negative and the other positive, and for
the polarities to reverse on a periodic basis. So the negative electrode
will release an electron which will be attracted toward the other
electrode due to its positive charge. When it bombards the coated
electrode the emissive coating causes electron multiplication, and
many more electrons are released. Then the polarity changes and the
multiplied electrons are then attracted to the other electrode, which is
now positive. They again bombard the coated electrode at sufficient
velocity to cause further multiplication.

This cycle repeats itself at a sufficient frequency to assure high
velocity in the ever-multiplying electron cloud.

A magnetic field is provided on the top and bottom of the device, so
the electron population is contained in those directions and the
electrons have nowhere to go but in the direction of the circulation
around the inside of the accelerating toroid. As they travel their mass
increases and the electrons rotate in a constantly increasing spiral
toward the outside of the chamber. When the electrons reach the
outer wall of the device they are extracted and the resulting current
can be applied to output or as regenerative feedback to the accelerator.

Although the multiplication of electrons may be accomplished by
coating the entirety of the toroidal channel with secondarily emissive
materials, or by coating portions of the cathode dees with emissive
materials, a third embodiiment of the present invention is to coat a
grid or wire mesh with the materials exhibiting a high secondary
emission coefficient. This wire mesh is arranged to be perpendicular
to the flow of electrons around the channel and is supported by a ring.
This secondarily emissive wire mesh is charged positive throughout
the cycle, and it is a mesh which is permeable to the flow of the
electrons to a sufficient extent to attract electrons, to multiply
electrons which impact the mesh, and to allow the vast majority of
electrons to pass through the mesh without impact on any particular
orbit. During the course of time, however, the accelerated electrons
will impact said mesh and be multiplied. The outer edge of said ring
support structure can be used to extract current from the tube and
divert it to the outside of the vacuum envelope to a work circuit for
use in output or to be applied to input for the electrodes.

The multiplication of electrons causes an amplification of current,
which is expressed in amperes. The rotation of the electrons causes an
increase in kinetic energy, which is expressed in volts. Thus, the
present invention amplifies both amperes and volts. Power is a term
which is defined as amperes multiplied by volts. Therefore, the
instant disclosure results in an exponential amplification effect.

Although such a configuration could be used to achieve extremely
high voltages, the aim of the device is merely to produce sufficient
power to satisfy the requirements of an electric automobile or home
or business. Several hundreds of volts is sufficient to meet that need.
Therefore, expensive and cumbersome containment and accelerating
apparatus is not necessary in the current invention, and the objective
of this invention can be achieved by a device which is of relatively
small size.


US 2630549 SZIKLAI
DE 687265 BRIOT