Mass-asymmetric fission of Bi 205,207,209 at energies close to the fission barrier using proton bombardment of Pb 204,206,208

B. M.A. Swinton-Bland*, M. A. Stoyer, A. C. Berriman, D. J. Hinde, C. Simenel, J. Buete, T. Tanaka, K. Banerjee, L. T. Bezzina, I. P. Carter, K. J. Cook, M. Dasgupta, D. Y. Jeung, C. Sengupta, E. C. Simpson, K. Vo-Phuoc

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Abstract

    Background: Recent observation of mass-asymmetric fission in neutron-deficient Hg and Pt nuclei has reignited interest in fission fragment mass distributions close to Pb. Investigations at energies close to the fission barrier, where mass-asymmetric fission is expected to be most obvious and the sensitivity to shell effects is maximized, are limited in this mass region. Purpose: To measure fission mass distributions for Bi205,207,209 nuclei at the lowest possible excitation energies to determine how the mass distributions change with excitation energy and the neutron number of the compound nucleus. Method: Proton beams bombarding targets of Pb204,206,208 were used to study the fission of Bi205,207,209 at energies from just above to 10 MeV above their fission barriers. Fission fragments were measured using the CUBE fission spectrometer. Fission fragment mass distributions were determined using a newly developed time difference analysis method. Mass distributions were characterized by triple-Gaussian fits to determine the systematic trends across each isotope with excitation energy. Results: Measured mass distributions of all three Bi isotopes exhibit a component of mass-asymmetric fission at all energies studied. The probability of mass-asymmetric fission decreases significantly with increasing excitation energy, from ≈70 to ≈40% over a 10-MeV range. Comparisons between the three Bi isotopes hint at an increase in the mass-symmetric fission yield with increasing neutron number, which could be due to a decrease in the difference between the symmetric and asymmetric fission barriers. The centroids of the mass-asymmetric peaks suggest that several deformed shell gaps in the fission fragments could be contributing to the presence of the mass-asymmetric fission mode with Zlight≃38, Zheavy≃45, and Nlight≃56 all present in the fission fragments. Conclusions: Measurements of fission mass distributions at the lowest possible excitation energies above the fission barrier provide an excellent platform to investigate the origins of the mass-asymmetric fission mode. Further systematic measurements at these energies offer an opportunity to rigorously test new models of fission in this mass region.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number054611
    JournalPhysical Review C
    Volume102
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 24 Nov 2020

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