A Novel Method for the Measurement of Half-Lives and Decay Branching Ratios of Exotic Nuclei

Super-FRS Experiment Collaboration

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A novel method for simultaneous measurement of masses, Q-values, isomer excitation energies, half-lives and decay branching ratios of exotic nuclei has been demonstrated. The method includes first use of a stopping cell as an ion trap, combining storage of mother and daughter nuclides for variable durations in a cryogenic stopping cell (CSC), and afterwards the identification and counting of them by a multiple-reflection time-of-flight mass spectrometer (MR-TOF-MS). We utilized our method to record the decay and growth of the 216Po and 212Pb isotopes (alpha decay) and of the 119m2Sb isomer (t1/2=850±90 ms) and 119gSb isotope (isomer transition), obtaining half-lives consistent with literature values. The amount of non-nuclear-decay losses in the CSC up to ∼10 s is negligible, which exhibits its extraordinary cleanliness. For 119Sb isotopes, we present the first direct measurements of the mass of its ground state, and the excitation energy and decay branching ratios of its second isomeric state (119m2Sb). This resolves discrepancies in previous excitation energy data, and is the first direct evidence that the 119m2Sb isomer decays dominantly via γ emission. These results pave the way for the measurement of branching ratios of exotic nuclei.
Original languageEnglish
Article number148 (2019)
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Physical Journal A: Hadrons and Nuclei
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sep 2019


  • nucl-ex


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