Electron field emission from surfaces with steps

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Merrick, Ian ; Inglesfield, John Ewan ; Attard, Gary Anthony (2005)

First-principles electron field emission calculations have been performed on flat and stepped Pt and Pd surfaces. An increase in electron transmission is seen for well-defined stepped surfaces. This stems from the reduction in the work function caused by Smoluchowski electron-smoothing and an increased tunneling contribution from surface parallel wave vectors at the stepped surface. A reduced effective potential at the step site may also contribute to increased electron transmission.
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