Landolt-Börnstein - Group III Condensed Matter Theory of field ionization


This chapter provides information on theory of field ion emission. Field ionization involves the tunneling of an electron from an atom or molecule in free space to the surface of a solid. Theories of field ionization generally follow one of three approaches: the one-dimensional WKB approach; the transfer Hamiltonian approach; or the rearrangement collision approach. The most detailed treatment has been given in terms of the one-dimensional WKB formalism, for which reasonable fields required for field ionization have been calculated. The basic concepts involved in field ionization are illustrated as schematic energy diagram, which shows the one-dimensional potential well for an atom near a metal surface in the presence of an electric field. Ionization of the gas atom occurs by the tunneling an electron through the field-distorted potential barrier. Measurements of the energy distribution of field ionized gas atoms provide direct information on the region where ionization occurs. The threshold energy in a field-ion energy distribution will be related to the position at which the ions are created and the width of the distribution will reflect the extent of the ionization region.

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Title Theory of field ionization
Book Title
Interaction of Radiation with Surfaces and Electron Tunneling
In Field ion emission
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Chapter DOI
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Landolt-Börnstein - Group III Condensed Matter
  • G. Chiarotti
  • Authors
  • G. L. Kelwog
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