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PhotoElectric Effect

  1. Feb 18, 2005 #1
    I have been recently studying the photoelectric effect and electron emission from metals. I am curious about how (if at all) this could affect the material properties of the metal, like the resistivity or stress/strain.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 19, 2005 #2


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    There would be almost no effect at all.Take a metal,chose a paralelelipedic shape and compute the approximate numbers of conducting electrons.Then see what is the typical photoelectrc current and try to make an idea about how many of the conduction electrons et pulled out of the metal.

    Stress/strain not a chance.They're not really connected to conducting electrons...

    Try to read some chapters from P.S.Kireev:"Semiconductor physics"...(Hopefully you americans translated it).

  4. Feb 19, 2005 #3
    Semiconductors, however, are affected: the resistivity goes down (photoconductivity) and the ductility may increase.
  5. Feb 26, 2005 #4
    so doesn't photoelectric effect, affect any of the material properties at all??
    electron emission..such vibrations and all.. any other characeristic changes occuring??
  6. Feb 26, 2005 #5


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    The process itself doesn't affect the materials property that much, especially on metals. However, if one were to do this on less conducting materials such as semiconductors and even, in some instances, insulators, then one may encounter charging effects. This is where the material is momentarily charged and could not neutralize itself before the next electron emission occurs. This will slightly change the surface band structure and even the work function. However, in terms of structural changes, this is not a factor.

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