Silver thin films were modified using a novel plasma modification process for the development of thin-film silver-silver chloride reference electrodes. The surface, physical, and electrochemical properties of these electrodes were investigated by atomic force microscopy, thickness and resistivity measurement techniques, as well as impedance spectroscopy and potentiometry. After plasma treatment, thin-film growth was observed and the electrodes, in general, exhibited low interface impedance and a roughened surface. Evidence of a complex surface reorganization was found. Correlating plasma conditions with film properties suggested that increasing pressure and exposure duration increased species availability, therefore governing the reaction rates, while input power appeared to influence the type of surface chemical reactions. Results also indicated that Ar/Cl-2 mixtures should be employed rather than pure chlorine plasmas. (C) 2002 The Electrochemical Society.