Abstract

Photocathode surface treatment aims to obtain high sensitivity, where the key point is to acquire an atomically clean surface. Various surface cleaning methods for removing contamination from InGaAs photocathode surfaces were investigated. The atomic compositions of InGaAs photocathode structures and surfaces were measured by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and Ar ion sputtering. After surface cleaning, the InGaAs surface is arsenoxide-free, however, a small amount of Ga2O3 and In2O3 still can be found. The 1:1 mixed solution of hydrochloric acid to deionized water followed by thermal annealing at 525°C has been demonstrated to be the best choice in dealing with the surface oxides. After the Cs/O activation, a surface model was proposed where the oxides on the surface will lead to a positive electron affinity, adversely affecting low-energy electrons escaping to the vacuum, which is reflected by the photocurrent curves and the spectral response curves.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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