1. bookVolume 33 (2015): Issue 2 (June 2015)
Journal Details
First Published
16 Apr 2011
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
access type Open Access

Two-extremum electrostatic potential of metal-lattice plasma and the work function of an electron

Published Online: 11 Jul 2015
Volume & Issue: Volume 33 (2015) - Issue 2 (June 2015)
Page range: 430 - 444
Received: 20 Oct 2014
Accepted: 05 Jan 2015
Journal Details
First Published
16 Apr 2011
Publication timeframe
4 times per year

Metal-lattice plasma is treated as a neutral two-component two-phase system of 2D surface and 3D bulk. Free electron density and bulk chemical potential are used as intensive parameters of the system with the phase boundary position determined in the crystalline lattice. A semiempirical expression for the electron screened electrostatic potential is constructed using the lattice-plasma polarization concept. It comprises an image term and three repulsion/attraction terms of second and fourth orders. The novel curve has two extremes and agrees with certain theoretical forms of potential. A practical formula for the electron work function of metals and a simplified schema of electronic structure at the metal/vacuum interface are proposed. This yields 10.44 eV for the Fermi energy of free electron gas; -5.817 eV for the Fermi energy level; 4.509 eV for the average work function of bcc tungsten. Selected data are also given for fcc Cu and hcp Re. For harmonic frequencies ~ 10E16 per s of the self-excited metal-lattice plasma, energy gaps of 14.54 and 8.02 eV are found, which correspond to the bulk and surface plasmons, respectively. Further extension of this thermodynamics and metal-lattice theory based approach may contribute to a better understanding of theoretical models which are employed in chemical physics, catalysis and materials science of nanostructures.


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