Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Chemistry and Biochemistry


Recently, thin silver film detectors have been used to determine atomic oxygen profiles in the 70-100 km region of the upper atmosphere. The detectors' sensitivity to atomic oxygen is the result of the formation of silver oxide(s) which cause their electrical resistance to increase. A common procedure to calibrate and to make these detectors more sensitive is to cycle them through a series of three or more oxidations and reductions. This paper indicates that this cycling makes silver films more sensitive to ozone, causing them to be usable only at heights greater than 38 km. Also reported herein are experimentally determined sticking coefficients for atomic oxygen and ozone on a cycled silver surface as being 2.8 x 10-2 and 5 x 10-5 , respectively.

In an attempt to understand better the nature of the oxidation of silver by ozone and atomic oxygen, the proposed kinetics of these two reactions are reviewed, and supporting evidence for a previously proposed model reported.

Included in

Chemistry Commons



Faculty Mentor

William Moore

Departmental Honors Advisor

Rex Megill