Schottky effect

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A reduction in the work function of a substance when an external accelerating electric field is applied to its surface in a vacuum. The field reduces the potential energy of electrons outside the substance, distorting the potential barrier at the surface and causing field emission. A similar effect occurs when a metal surface is in contact with a semiconductor rather than a vacuum, when it is known as a Schottky barrier. The effect was discovered by the German physicist Walter Schottky (1886–1976).

Subjects: Physics.

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