We report an explicit experimental observation of photostimulated electron field emission from diamond. The electron emission properties of monocrystalline diamond needles were investigated in the dark and under illumination by nanosecond laser pulses. A prominent increase in the electron emission current was detected under illumination by light with photon energies above 5.0 eV. The linear dependence of the photoinduced emission current on the light intensity was observed in the spectral range of 5.0 to 5.9 eV, while its field dependence demonstrated saturation behavior. The remarkable feature of the observed phenomenon was the fact that illuminated and field emission areas of the diamond needles were spatially separated by about 100 μm in the used experimental setup. Possible mechanisms for the observed effects are discussed.

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