Absorption spectra of light elements were observed in the vacuum ultraviolet with an original technique described in an earlier paper (Mehlman-Balloffet and Esteva, 1969). The method utilizes a two-vacuum spark mounting: one of the sparks is emitting the continuous background, the other one generates the absorbing plasma. Several light element have been successsively introduced in the spark anode. For all of them new autoionizing levels have been observed in Rydberg series of resonances exhibiting the asymmetric ‘Beutler-Fano’ profile.
In the beryllium and magnesium spectra three new series corresponding to two-electron excitation process have been identified while for boron, carbon, nitrogen, aluminium and silicon the resonances observed correspond to single subshell electron excitation such as: 2s
0 → 2s2p(3
e for the case of boron.
All these series lie in the photoionization continuum of the absorbing atomic species and usually between the first and second ionization limit. This means that they were observed with a normal incidence grating spectrograph in the spectral range 500–1500 Å. In the extreme ultraviolet some other transitions involving inner-shell electron excitation were observed. In the beryllium spectra a series lying between 100 and 110 Å was identified while, the magnesium spectra exhibited only isolated resonances in the 220-265 Å range together with an inner-shell 2p electron photoioniation continuum.
A complete description of experimental results with numerical data is being submitted for publication (Esteva and Mehlman-Balloffet, 1972).