This study reports a photoemission threshold of ∼1.5 eV from nitrogen-doped nanocrystalline diamond, which ranks among the lowest photo-threshold of any non-cesiated material. Diamond films on molybdenum substrates have been illuminated with light from 340 to 550 nm, and the electron emission spectrum has been recorded from ambient to ∼320 °C. The results display combined thermionic and photo-electron emission limited by the same low work function and indicate that the two emission processes are spatially separated. These results indicate the potential for a solar energy conversion structure that takes advantage of both photoemission and thermionic emission.

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