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Excitation of Spectra of Multiply Ionized Atoms by Capacitor Discharges

Volume 28, Number 3 (June 1974) Page 223-234

Van Deurzen, Cornelius H.H.; Conway, John G.

Spectra of vanadium have been produced in a vacuum sliding spark, and their relative line intensities have been measured as parameters of the electrical circuit were varied. Intensity maxima of the spectral lines are interpreted as representing excitation energies and have been found to depend in a definitive manner on the power delivered to the source and on the duration of the discharge. The differential equation of the circuit is solved for the charge and energy transfer rates from the capacitor to the source, and two functions of the continuous circuit parameter γ C/L(R/2)2 are defined which greatly assist in interpreting the effect of the circuit parameters on the excitation in the source. A relationship was found between the excitation in the source and the electrical circuit parameters. By means of this relationship one may obtain a good estimate of the excitation gained in the spark source. It is shown that by exercising careful control over the circuit parameters it is possible to separate spectra of neighboring ionization stages through either total pulse or time-resolved observations.