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Keywords:

  • diamond thin films;
  • doping;
  • thermionic emission;
  • work function

Abstract

A boron-doped polycrystalline diamond film was deposited on a molybdenum substrate and resistively heated in a high vacuum environment. The thermally excited emission current as a function of cathode temperature was measured. This phenomenon, known as thermionic emission, is characterized by electron emission arising from a surface at elevated temperatures and is described by the Richardson equation. The observed thermionic emission current from the diamond sample followed the Richardson equation from which a work function of 4.43 eV and a Richardson constant of ∼60 A/cm2K2 were observed. This indicates boron-doped polycrystalline diamond behaves as an interesting thermionic emitter for possible energy conversion and other electron emission applications.