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Title: K isomerism and collectivity in neutron-rich rare-earth isotopes
Author: Patel, Zena
ISNI:       0000 0004 5923 2148
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2016
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Neutron-rich rare-earth isotopes were produced by in-flight fission of 238U ions at the Radioactive Isotope Beam Factory (RIBF), RIKEN, Japan. In-flight fission of a heavy, high-intensity beam of 238U ions on a light target provides the cleanest secondary beams of neutron-rich nuclei in the rare-earth region of isotopes. In-flight fission is advantageous over other methods of nuclear production, as it allows for a secondary beam to be extracted, from which the beam species can be separated and identified. The excited states of nuclei are studied by delayed isomeric or beta-delayed gamma-ray spectroscopy. New K isomers were found in Sm (Z=62), Eu (Z=63), and Gd (Z=64) isotopes. The key results are discussed here. Excited states in the N~=~102 isotones 166Gd and 164Sm have been observed following isomeric decay for the first time. The K-isomeric states in 166Gd and 164Sm are due to 2-quasiparticle configurations. Based on the decay patterns and potential energy surface calculations, including beta6 deformation, both isomers are assigned a (6-) spin-parity. The half-lives of the isomeric states have been measured to be 950(60)ns and 600(140)ns for 166Gd and 164Sm respectively. Collective observables are discussed in light of the systematics of the region, giving insight into nuclear shape evolution. The decrease in the ground state band energies of 166Gd and 164Sm (N=102) compared to 164Gd and 162Sm (N=100) respectively, presents evidence for the predicted deformed shell closure at N=100. A 4-quasiparticle isomeric state has been discovered in 160Sm: the lightest deformed nucleus with a 4-quasiparticle isomer to date. The isomeric state is assigned an (11+) spin-parity with a measured half-life of 1.8(4)us. The (11+) isomeric state decays into a rotational band structure, based on a (6-) v5/2-[523] x v7/2+[633] bandhead, determined from the extracted gK-gR values. Potential energy surface and blocked BCS calculations were performed in the deformed midshell region around 160Sm. They reveal a significant influence from beta6 deformation and that 160Sm is the best candidate for the lightest four-quasiparticle K isomer to exist in this region. The relationship between reduced hindrance and isomer excitation energy for E1 transitions from multiquasiparticle states is considered with the new data from 160Sm. The E1 data are found to agree with the existing relationship for E2 transitions. K isomers were also observed in 159Sm, 161Sm, 162Sm, 163Eu, and 164Gd, some of them for the first time. Their level schemes are presented and discussed in terms of blocked BCS calculations. The reduced hindrance of E1 transitions in these isomers is discussed. Isomers are also observed in 164Eu, 165Eu, 167Tb, 168Tb, and 169Tb, however, the statistics are too low for analysis beyond gamma-ray energy measurements. The isotopes 160Sm, 161Sm, and 162Sm were populated for the first time via beta decay of 160Pm, 161Pm, and 162Pm respectively, also at the RIBF using in-flight fission. beta-delayed gamma rays are present in all three isotopes. Further analysis is needed to calculate the beta-decay half-lives.
Supervisor: Podolyák, Z. Sponsor: STFC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available