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Detailed Modeling of Physical Processes in Electron Sources for Accelerator Applications Open Access

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At present, electron sources are essential in a wide range of applications -- from common technical use to exploring the nature of matter. Depending on the application requirements, different methods and materials are used to generate electrons. State-of-the-art accelerator applications set a number of often-contradicting requirements for electron sources (e.g., high quantum efficiency vs. high spin-polarization, high current density vs. long lifetime, etc). Development of advanced electron sources includes modeling and design of cathodes, material growth, fabrication of cathodes, and cathode testing. The detailed simulation and modeling of physical processes are required in order to shed light on the exact mechanisms of electron emission and to develop new-generation electron sources with optimized efficiency. The purpose of the present work is to study physical processes in prominent electron sources and to develop scientific tools that could be used to predict electron emission from novel nano-structured materials. In particular, the Monte Carlo model has been implemented and used to study photoemission from Negative Electron Affinity (NEA) GaAs widely used to provide spin-polarized electron beams for many accelerator facilities, including Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. According to our best knowledge, this is the first to date scientific tool to simulate the complete from-excitation-to-emission-into-vacuum photoemission of spin-polarized electrons from NEA GaAs based on the details of material band structure.Moreover, an effective image-processing algorithm has been developed and used to study field emission properties of Nitrogen-incorporated UltraNanoCrystalline Diamond ((N)UNCD) films. The algorithm processes large sets of image micrographs representing field emission sites formed on the anode plate and therefore provides significant information about the field emission area and the current density. The field emission model from convenient semiconductors has been modified and used to study the influence of the space-charge region and the electric-field-dependent electron mobility on the field emission characteristics of (N)UNCD field emitters.

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