All Physics Faculty Presentations


Electron-Induced Electron Emission of Insulators Using Short-Duration Low-Amplitude Pulsed Sources

Document Type

Conference Paper

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Bulletin of the American Physical Society



Publication Date


First Page

electron induced, insulators, pulsed sources


Early attempts were made four and five decades ago to measure electron-stimulated electron emissions of insulators. These studies were subject to errors associated with poor vacuum system contamination, inadequate material surface control, and crude detection setups. Electron yields of insulators are difficult to measure since incident electron sources will impart surface and bulk charges that cannot easily be dissipated, that in turn affect electron emissions. By using short-duration, low-current electron pulses, these charging effects can be minimized. Additionally, the insulator can be neutralized periodically to return the surface to its original uncharged state. At Utah State University, we have improved upon previous insulator measurements using ultra-high vacuum technology, a fully-enclosed hemispherical detection system, pulsed electron sources, compact low energy electron neutralization sources, and fast-response low-noise picoammeters. Data will be presented on insulator surface potential evolution as a function of electron fluence, as well as neutralized-insulator electron yields.


Bull. Am. Phys. Soc. 48(1) Part II, 1146, (2003). American Physical Society March Meeting 2003, March 6, 2003, Austin, TX.