U.S. Department of Energy


Date of this Version



Physical Review Special Topics - Accelerators And Beams 8, 123501 (2005); DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevSTAB.8.123501


Strained-layer GaAs and strained-superlattice GaAs photocathodes are used at Jefferson Laboratory to create high average current beams of highly spin-polarized electrons. High electron yield, or quantum efficiency (QE), is obtained only when the photocathode surface is atomically clean. For years, exposure to atomic hydrogen or deuterium has been the photocathode cleaning technique employed at Jefferson Laboratory. This work demonstrates that atomic hydrogen cleaning is not necessary when precautions are taken to ensure that clean photocathode material from the vendor is not inadvertently dirtied while samples are prepared for installation inside photoemission guns. Moreover, this work demonstrates that QE and beam polarization can be significantly reduced when clean high-polarization photocathode material is exposed to atomic hydrogen from an rf dissociator-style atomic hydrogen source. Surface analysis provides some insight into the mechanisms that degrade QE and polarization due to atomic hydrogen cleaning.