Researchers describe previously unknown mechanism for inducing electron emission in highly oriented pyrolitic graphite | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Researchers describe previously unknown mechanism for inducing electron emission in highly oriented pyrolitic graphite

It is something quite common in physics: Electrons leave a certain material, fly away and are then measured. Some materials emit electrons when they are irradiated with light. These electrons are called photoelectrons. In materials research, so-called Auger electrons also play an important role—they can be emitted by atoms if an electron is first removed from one of the inner electron shells. But now scientists at TU Wien (Vienna) have succeeded in explaining a completely different type of electron emission that can occur in carbon materials such as graphite. This electron emission type has been known for about 50 years, but its cause was previously unclear.

Strange electrons without explanation

"Many researchers have already wondered about this," says Prof. Wolfgang Werner from the Institute of Applied Physics. "There are materials, which consist of atomic layers that are held together only by weak Van der Waals forces, for example graphite. And it was discovered that this type of graphite emits very specific electrons that all have exactly the same energy, namely 3.7 electron volts."

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