Date of Award

Fall 1987

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Chemistry & Biochemistry



Committee Director

John D. Van Norman

Committee Director

Billy T. Upchurch

Committee Member

Kenneth G. Brown

Committee Member

George M. Wood


Mass spectrometry was used to measure oxygen and nitrogen permeabilities while polarography was used to measure oxygen permeabilities for several contact lens materials. Applicable sample holders were designed and fabricated to accommodate curved and flat specimens with surface areas of 0.5 cm2 and 1.0 cm2 and thicknesses between 0.025 mm and 0.500 mm. A prepared standard was used to calibrate the mass spectrometric analyses.

The oxygen permeability values determined by mass spectrometry were significantly greater than those determined by polarography. This was attributed to the phase boundary phenomena and the limiting oxygen permeance of water inherent in the polarographic technique. Polarographic values determined in this work were in good agreement with proprietary values obtained by polarography, with the exception of one material. Initial efforts to calibrate the methodologies with a Standard Reference Material 1470 from the National Bureau of Standards could not be accomplished due to the extremely low oxygen and nitrogen permeance of the standard and the experimental constraints.


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