electron work function, \(\mathit{\Phi}\)

The minimum work needed to extract electrons from the Fermi level of a metal M across a surface carrying no net charge. It is equal to the sum of the potential energy and the kinetic Fermi energy taken with the reverse sign: \[\mathit{\Phi} ^{M} = -(V_{\text{e}}+ɛ_{\text{e}}^{F})\] where V e is the potential energy for electrons in metals and ɛe^F is the kinetic energy of electrons at the Fermi level.
PAC, 1986, 58, 437. 'Interphases in systems of conducting phases (Recommendations 1985)' on page 441 (https://doi.org/10.1351/pac198658030437)