Positron re-emission, reflection, and diffraction from W(100) surface at very low energies

S. N. Samarin, V. N. Petrov, K. Sudarshan, P. Guagliardo, A. P. Baraban, J. F. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The energy distributions of scattered and re-emitted low-energy positrons from a W(100) surface were measured as a function of incident positron energy from 0 to 25 eV. Given that tungsten has a negative work function of about −3 eV for positrons, one can envisage three scenarios of very low-energy positron scattering from such a surface. First, a positron approaching the sample surface with energy say 1 eV above the vacuum level will see a potential barrier of about 2 eV height and will be reflected back to the vacuum. Second, when the energy of incident positrons increases up to the top of the surface potential barrier (positron work function), they start entering the solid and, therefore, the reflectivity of positrons from the surface reduces. Positrons entering the solid are thermalised within few picoseconds and have a chance to escape back to the vacuum with kinetic energy about 3 eV above the vacuum level undergoing so-called re-emission. Third, coherent scattering of low-energy positrons may occur on the crystal surface, i.e. positron diffraction. All the three scenarios of low-energy positrons scattering are studied here experimentally. Measured spectra are very sensitive to the surface conditions of the sample: they change dramatically after surface oxidation or thin film deposition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number025001
JournalJournal of Physics Condensed Matter
Issue number2
Early online date12 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2024


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