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Resolving surface chemical states of p-GaN:Cs photocathodes by XPS analysis

Schaber, J.; Xiang, R.; Teichert, J.; Murcek, P.; Zwartek, P.; Arnold, A.; Ryzhov, A.; Ma, S.

An x-ray photoelectron spectrometer (XPS) is used in the HZDR photocathode lab to understand the surface states of GaN photocathodes during its cleaning, cesium activation and degradation. The XPS probes the electronic structure of the p-doped GaN photocathode after each step of the preparation process. Using energies between 1200-0 eV the core levels and auger photoemission peaks of Ga, N, O, C and Cs are monitored.
In our experiments, p-GaN on sapphire samples were cleaned with 99 % ethanol in an ultrasonic bath, followed by a thermal cleaning in a vacuum with the intention to remove carbon and oxygen contaminations on the p-GaN surface. Although still some carbon remained on the surface, the p-GaN was successfully activated by the deposition of a thin layer of cesium. Quantum efficiencies (QE) of
3 - 9 % were achieved. XPS photoemission spectra show a shift towards higher binding energies for the photoemission peaks, which is caused by a new component, so-called organic – cesium.
During the storage under ultra – high vacuum, the GaN:Cs photocathodes were measured from time to time in the photocurrent and by XPS. We found a shift of 0.35 eV towards lower binding energies, which is related to the formation of the organic – cesium islands. This island growth is assumed to be in close correlation to the photocathode degradation.
The p-GaN:Cs photocathodes showed a big QE loss after XPS analysis and therefore we investigated the potential damage from x-ray irradiation. The long-time irradiation experiments show that the x-ray damage has a high influence on the cesium component and the degradation of the p-GaN:Cs photocathode.

Keywords: GaN photocathode; photocathode degradation; cesium deposition

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Publ.-Id: 35465