Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


Date of this Version



Appl. Phys. Lett. 114, 073502 (2019)


Published under license by AIP Publishing. Used by permission.


It is shown that focusing circularly polarized 800nm light pulses of duration 100 fs on the tips of p-GaAs crystalline shards having no negative electron affinity (NEA) activation results in electron emission that is both fast and spin-polarized. The 400 fs duration of the emission process was determined by pump/probe measurements. The three samples we investigated produced electron polarizations of 13.1(0.9)%, 13.3(0.7)%, and 10.4(0.2)%. Emission currents ranged between 50 pA and 3 nA with a sample bias of –100 V and an average laser power of 100 mW. The electron emission exhibited linear dichroism and was obtained under moderate vacuum conditions, similar to that of metallic tips. This source of spin-polarized electron pulses is “fast” in the sense that the electron emission process is of comparable duration to the laser pulses that initiate it.