In-Beam Spectroscopy of the Neutron Deficient Nuclei 92Pd and 162Ta

Sammanfattning: Studies of nuclei far from stability offers new insights into the complete nucleon many-body problem. In nuclei with equal neutron and proton numbers (N=Z), the unique nature of the atomic nucleus as an object composed of two distinct types of fermions can be expressed as enhanced correlations arising between neutrons and protons occupying orbitals with the same quantum numbers. Such correlations have since several decades been predicted to favour a new type of nuclear superfluidity; isoscalar neutron-proton pairing, in addition to normal isovector pairing which dominates the structure of most known nuclei. Despite many experimental efforts these predictions have not been confirmed. The N=Z nuclei with mass number A>90 can only be produced in the laboratory at very low cross sections. The related problems of identifying and distinguishing such reaction products and their associated gamma rays from the vast array of N>Z nuclei that are present in much greater numbers have prevented observation of their low-lying excited states until recently. In the present work the experimental difficulties of observation of excited states in the N=Z=46 nucleus 92Pd have been overcome through the use of a highly efficient, state-of-the-art detector system and a prolonged experimental running period. The lowest excited states in 92Pd was empirically observed via detection of gamma rays emitted in the fusion-evaporation reaction together with detection of charged particles and neutrons in the ancillary detector system. The level spacings in the ground state band of 92Pd give the first experimental evidence for a new spin-aligned neutron-proton (np) paired phase. These findings reconcile with nuclear shell model calculations which predicts an unexpected effect of enhanced np correlations for N=Z nuclei in the immediate vicinity of the doubly magic nucleus 100Sn. Excited states of the odd-odd nucleus 162Ta have been observed using the JUROGAM/RITU experimental set-up. This nucleus is located in a transitional region in the nuclide chart which is between near-spherical nuclei and well-deformed nuclei, offering the possibility to study the emergence of collective phenomena and nuclear deformation (in particular the degree of triaxiality). The results, which are interpreted in the framework of the cranked shell model with total Routhian surface calculations suggest an almost axially symmetric nuclear shape. The energy staggering between the signature partners of the yrast rotational bands has been deduced for eight odd-odd isotopes in the neighborhood of 162Ta nucleus and the special observed feature of signature inversion for these nuclei is discussed.