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When surface oxide is formed on a carbon by reaction with oxygen, the intensity of the electron spin resonance signal decreases. This effect can easily be distinguished from the 'reversible effect'. When the oxidized carbon is reheated in vacuo, the signal is partially recovered. This process is facilitated by addition, to the oxidized sample, of sodium hydroxide, which evidently lowers the thermal stability of surface oxide. It is not yet known whether free-radical centres are actually lostdoi:10.1098/rspa.1961.0122 fatcat:yslzvsol5rdl3m6ios2anxpb3m