Gurney-Mott theory

Gurney-Mott theory

[′gər·nē ′mät ‚thē·ə·rē]
(chemistry)
A theory of the photographic process that proposes a two-stage mechanism; in the first stage, a light quantum is absorbed at a point within the silver halide gelatin, releasing a mobile electron and a positive hole; these mobile defects diffuse to trapping sites (sensitivity centers) within the volume or on the surface of the grain; in the second stage, trapped (negatively charged) electron is neutralized by an interstitial (positively charged) silver ion, which combines with the electron to form a silver atom; the silver atom is capable of trapping a second electron, after which the process repeats itself, causing the silver speck to grow.