First spatial separation of a heavy ion isomeric beam with a multiple-reflection time-of-flight mass spectrometer

Timo Dickel, W R Plaß, S. Ayet San Andrés, Jens Ebert, H Geissel, E. Haettner, C Hornung, I Miskun, S. Pietri, Sivaji Purushothaman, M. P. Reiter, A K Rink, C. Scheidenberger, H. Weick, P Dendooven, M. Diwisch, F Greiner, F Heiße, R. Knöbel, W LippertI. D. Moore, Ilkka Pohjalainen, A. Prochazka, M Ranjan, M. Takechi, J.S. Winfield, X Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

211Po ions in the ground and isomeric states were produced via 238U projectile fragmentation at 1000 MeV/u. The 211Po ions were spatially separated in flight from the primary beam and other reaction products by the fragment separator FRS. The ions were energy-bunched, slowed-down and thermalized in a gas-filled cryogenic stopping cell (CSC). They were then extracted from the CSC and injected into a high-resolution multiple-reflection time-of-flight mass spectrometer (MR-TOF-MS). The excitation energy of the isomer and, for the first time, the isomeric-to-ground state ratio were determined from the measured mass spectrum. In the subsequent experimental step, the isomers were spatially separated from the ions in the ground state by an ion deflector and finally collected with a silicon detector for decay spectroscopy. This pioneering experimental result opens up unique perspectives for isomer-resolved studies. With this versatile experimental method new isomers with half-lives longer than a few milliseconds can be discovered and their decay properties can be measured with highest sensitivity and selectivity. These experiments can be extended to studies with isomeric beams in nuclear reactions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-141
Number of pages5
JournalPhysics Letters B
Early online date24 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2015


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