Bi-alkali antimonide photocathode growth: An X-ray diffraction study
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1063/1.4959218
Bi-alkali antimonide photocathodes are one of the best known sources of electrons for high current and/or high bunch charge applications like Energy Recovery Linacs or Free Electron Lasers. Despite their high quantum efficiency in visible light and low intrinsic emittance, the surface roughness of these photocathodes prohibits their use as low emittance cathodes in high accelerating gradient superconducting and normal conducting radio frequency photoguns and limits the minimum possible intrinsic emittance near the threshold. Also, the growth process for these materials is largely based on recipes obtained by trial and error and is very unreliable. In this paper, using X-ray diffraction, we investigate the different structural and chemical changes that take place during the growth process of the bi-alkali antimonide material K2CsSb. Our measurements give us a deeper understanding of the growth process of alkali-antimonide photocathodes allowing us to optimize it with the goal of minimizing the surface roughness to preserve the intrinsic emittance at high electric fields and increasing its reproducibility.