Apker, L. Formerly, General Electric Research Laboratory, Schenectady, New York.
Tansu, Nelson Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Center for Optical Technologies, Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
- Einstein's photoelectric law
- Classifications of photoemission devices
- Alkali halides
- Other compounds
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The ejection of electrons from a solid (or less commonly, a liquid) by incident electromagnetic radiation. Photoemission is also referred to as the external photoelectric effect. The visible and ultraviolet regions of the electromagnetic spectrum are most often involved, although the infrared and x-ray regions are also of interest. Photoemission has several distinguishing experimental features: (1) the process of photon absorption and photoelectron generation is instantaneous, that is, there is no detectable time lag; (2) at a given frequency the number of photoelectrons ejected per second is proportional to the intensity of the incident radiation; and (3) the kinetic energies of the photoelectrons depend on the incident photon frequency and the work function of the surface, but are independent of the incident intensity.
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