Electron energetics at surfaces and interfaces: Concepts and experiments

David Cahen, Antoine Kahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

518 Scopus citations


We present a concise, although admittedly non-exchaustive, but hopefully didactic review and discussion of some of the central and basic concepts related to the energetics of surfaces and interfaces of solids. This is of particular importance for surfaces and interfaces that involve organic molecules and molecular films. It attempts to pull together different views and terminologies used in the solid state, electrochemistry, and electronic device communities, regarding key concepts of local and absolute vacuum level, surface dipole, work function, electron affinity, and ionization energy. Finally, it describes how standard techniques like photoemission spectroscopy can be used to measure such quantities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-277
Number of pages7
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 17 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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