Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Time-delayed photoelectric effect

Abstract

The Einstein photoelectric relation1 initially explained the photoelectric effect,

=Tmax + Eb

where is the energy of a photon incident on a material, Eb is the binding energy of the electron to be excited, and Tmax is the maximum kinetic energy of the emitted electron. This work has generated considerable research2–5 because of its multidisciplinary interest. We describe here photoelectric emission (PE) experiments using very low-intensity nanosecond light pulses with energies near the PE threshold. Signal correlated, time-delayed pulses of emitted electrons were observed for single light pulses incident on a photosensitive material. However, the energies of the delayed emitted electrons were not correlated to the wavelength of the incident light, which is not consistent with Einstein's relation. At higher incident light intensities, the delayed pulses were not observed. These pulses were not due to electrical noise because they disappeared when the laser light was blocked from entering the cell. They were not due to single photon luminescence from a particular species because the pulses were observed using another experimental apparatus with an alternate source of nanosecond light. We now describe these delayed pulses and give a preliminary interpretation of them.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it

$39.95

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

References

  1. Einstein, A. Ann. Phys. 17, 132 (1905).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Cardona, M. & Ley, L. Topics appl. Phys. 26 (1978).

  3. Dobrzynski, L. (ed.) Handbook of Surfaces and Interfaces Vol. 1 (Garland STPM, New York, 1978).

  4. Feuerbacker, B., Fitton, B. & Willis, R. F. (eds) Photoemission and the Electronic Properties of Surfaces (Wiley, Toronto, 1978).

  5. Fiermans, L., Vennik, J. & Dekeyser, W. (eds) Nato Adv. Stud. Inst. B32, (1978).

  6. Leheny, R. L., Shah, J., Fork, R. L., Shank, C. V. & Migus, A. Solid St. Commun. 31, 809 (1979).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Davies, D. A. Waves, Atoms and Solids 288 (Langman Group, New York, 1978).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Billard, T., Burns, G. Time-delayed photoelectric effect. Nature 306, 247–248 (1983). https://doi.org/10.1038/306247a0

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/306247a0

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing