Composition and work function relationship in Os-Ru-W ternary alloys

Phillip D. Swartzentruber, Michael J. Detisch, T. John Balk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Os-Ru thin films with varying concentrations of W were sputter deposited in order to investigate their structure-property relationships. The films were analyzed with x-ray diffraction to investigate their crystal structures, and a Kelvin probe to investigate their work functions. An Os-Ru-W film with ∼30 at. % W yielded a work function maximum of approximately 5.38 eV. These results align well with other studies that found work function minima from thermionic emission data on M-type cathodes with varying amounts of W in the coatings. Furthermore, the results are consistent with other work explaining energy-level alignment and charge transfer of molecules on metal oxides. This may shed light on the mechanism behind the "anomalous effect" first reported by Zalm et al., whereby a high work function coating results in a low work function for emitting cathode surfaces. An important implication of this work is the potential for the Kelvin probe to evaluate the effectiveness of dispenser cathode coatings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number021405
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Vacuum Society.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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