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Using monolayer-sensitive variable angle of incidence spectroscopic ellipsometry, the silver oxide growth on a silver mirror, coated with an Al2 O3 or SiO2 protective layer, was investigated. The oxidation was done in a pure oxygen plasma asher. The resulting silver oxide growth was monitored accurately as a function of exposure time in the plasma asher. It was found that silver was converted to silver oxide under the protective coating, during ashing of a sample. The optical constants of a dense silver oxide thin film, created by oxidizing in the asher, were also measured.