Very little work has been done on the chemical effects produced during the irradiation of solid materials. Although some research has been reported concerning the action of ultraviolet light on solid nitrates, most of the information in the literature is based upon the use of nuclear radiations.
Two types of reaction mechanisms have been proposed by previous authors. The direct decomposition of the metal nitrate to give the nitrate and oxygen was concluded from measurements of optical absorption. The ionization of nitrate ion to yield mononitrogen trioxide which could disassociate after capture of an electron was also suggested. The mononitrogen trioxide radical was possibly trapped and later hydrolyzed to give nitric acid and nitrous acid.
The small amount of actual evidence for the support of the above mechanisms as well as disagreements in yields emphasized the need for more accurate data. It was thought necessary, therefore, to perform a few preliminary experiments to insure the reproducible results would be obtained when solid nitrates were irradiated.
Level of Degree
Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
First Committee Member (Chair)
John Francis Suttle
Second Committee Member
Jesse LeRoy Riebsomer
Third Committee Member
Paul W. Healy
Fourth Committee Member
LaMar, Lawrence E.. "The Decomposition of Solid Barium Nitrate by Gamma Rays." (1955). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/chem_etds/66