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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


Graduate Studies

First Advisor

Patrick R. Jones

First Committee Member

Herschel Frye

Second Committee Member

J. F. Rodriguez


The threshold potentials were determined for the excitation energy necessary for low energy electrons to induce chemical reactions of carbon monoxide, and of nitric oxide adsorbed on a gold surface. The reactions were studied as a function of temperature (100 °C to 200 °C) and pressure (1.83 x 10-5 to 6.40 x 10-4 torr). The electron source was a thorium oxide coated iridium filament which was heated by a current between 1A and 3A to keep thermal distribution of the electrons to less than 0.4 ev. The reaction surface was a polycrystalline evaporated film prepared by subliming gold onto a stainless steel mesh support. Mass analysis was done by quadrupole mass spectrometry in a flow system.

The general results of the research is that a technique has been developed to study the products of reactions of excited state atoms or molecules on metal surfaces. The electron-impact excitation method is an alternative to photochemical and other methods.



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