A general quantum model for thermionic-field-photoelectron emission

P. Zhang
Michigan State University, Michigan, United States

Keywords: electron emission, quantum model, electron sources

Electron sources are crucial to high power microwave (HPM) applications, pulse power systems, satellite communications, radar systems, particle accelerators, novel electromagnetic radiation sources, and future quantum nanocircuits. Recently, the rapid development in nanotechnology and ultrafast laser optics has brought great opportunities to control electron emission at ultrashort spatiotemporal scales and offers unprecedented scientific and technological advances. This paper presents a general quantum mechanical model for thermionic-field-photoelectron emission from a metal surface, which was developed by solving the time-dependent Schrödinger equation exactly. The quantum model is valid for general laser fields (wavelength and intensity), properties of metals (Fermi energy and work function including Schottky effect), temperature of the cathodes, and the applied dc field on the cathode surface. Also highlighted are recent extensions of the quantum model to electron emission due to few-cycle laser pulses. Potential applications to high power electromagnetic generation and applications will be discussed.