Photoassisted and multiphoton emission from single-crystal diamond needles†
Practical realization of stable and high brightness sources of ultra-short electron pulses is an important issue in the development of time-resolved electron microscopy for the study of ultra-fast dynamics in materials. Here, we report on the experimental investigation of static (in the dark) and pulsed (under illumination by sub-picosecond laser pulses at 1040 nm) electron emission from single-crystal diamond needles. A significant increase of electron emission current was detected under laser illumination. The nonlinear dependence of the emission current on the laser intensity and on the angle between the needle and the laser beam polarization axis suggests multi-photon emission processes. This interpretation is in agreement with electron spectroscopy measurements performed for electrons emitted at different bias voltages and different laser power levels and repetition rates. The remarkable feature of the diamond emitters is their stability under high average power of laser radiation. This provides a new highly efficient source of photoemitted electrons based on single-crystal diamond.