Study of the N=Z nucleus 62Ga using a new fast beta-decay tagging system
David, Helena May
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Several low-lying levels in the exotic N = Z nucleus 62Ga have been observed for the first time using a new fast β-decay tagging system at the Argonne National Laboratory. The system provides enhanced selectivity on proton-rich nuclei, produced in heavy-ion fusion-evaporation reactions, that exhibit ‘fast’ β decays compared with isobaric contaminants. A 103 MeV beam of 40Ca ions, produced by the Argonne Tandem-Linac Accelerator System (ATLAS), was used to bombard an isotopically enriched 24Mg target, allowing 62Ga nuclei to be produced via the evaporation of one proton and one neutron in heavy-ion fusion evaporation reactions. Prompt γ rays were detected by the Gammasphere array, and recoiling reaction products dispersed by their mass-to-charge ratio by the fragment mass analyzer (FMA). New β-tagging capabilities were provided by the installation of a 1 mm thick, highly segmented 160×160 double-sided Silicon strip detector (DSSD) at the focal plane of the FMA, which allowed implanted reaction residues to be correlated in both space and time with subsequent β+ decays. The experiment was carried out with the benefit of digital acquisition systems for the Gammasphere, FMA and DSSD. The exotic nucleus 62Ga has a β-decay half-life of ∼ 100 ms. The main contaminants in the 40Ca + 24Mg fusion-evaporation reaction are 62Zn, which has a ∼ 9 hour half-life, and 58Ni, which is stable. A clean ‘singles’ γ-ray spectrum of 62Ga transitions was made permissible for the first time by the high levels of selectivity achieved, through requiring the detection of a β particle in the DSSD in close proximity to implanted reaction residues within 400 ms of implantation. Several low-lying low-spin states are reported in this thesis work, and discussed in the context of previous experimental results and theoretical predictions made using shell model, deformed shell model and IBM-4 calculations.