Affecting an Ultra-High Work Function of Silver

Jin He, Jeff Armstrong, Peixi Cong, Barak Menagen, Lior Igaher, Andrew M. Beale, Lioz Etgar, David Avnir*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


An ultra-high increase in the WF of silver, from 4.26 to 7.42 eV, that is, an increase of up to circa 3.1 eV is reported. This is the highest WF increase on record for metals and is supported by recent computational studies which predict the potential ability to affect an increase of the WF of metals by more than 4 eV. We achieved the ultra-high increase by a new approach: Rather than using the common method of 2D adsorption of polar molecules layers on the metal surface, WF modifying components, l-cysteine and Zn(OH)2, were incorporated within the metal, resulting in a 3D architecture. Detailed material characterization by a large array of analytical methods was carried out, the combination of which points to a WF enhancement mechanism which is based on directly affecting the charge transfer ability of the metal separately by cysteine and hydrolyzed zinc(II), and synergistically by the combination of the two through the known Zn-cysteine finger redox trap effect.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)4698-4704
Number of pages7
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number12
StatePublished - 16 Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

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© 2020 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • Kelvin probe
  • doping metals
  • redox trap effect
  • silver
  • work function


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