Disputation: Isomeric yield ratio measurements with JYFLTRAP: In quest of the angular momentum of the primary fragments

  • Date:
  • Location: 80127, Ångström, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala
  • Doctoral student: Rakopoulos, Vasileios
  • About the dissertation
  • Organiser: Tillämpad kärnfysik
  • Contact person: Rakopoulos, Vasileios
  • Disputation


In this thesis, isomeric yield ratios of twenty nuclides produced in the fission of natU and 232Th by protons at 25-MeV and natU by high-energy neutrons were studied. The experiments were performed at the IGISOL-JYFLTRAP facility at the University of Jyväskylä. It is the first time that direct ion counting is used for the determination of the intensities of the states of interest, thus avoiding dependency on knowledge of nuclear decay schemes and properties. This was possible due to the superior resolution of a Penning trap which was utilized for this work. Two different techniques were employed, namely the sideband cooling technique and the phase-imaging ion-cyclotron-resonance technique. With the former, a mass resolving power of m/δm = 105 can be routinely achieved, while the latter, which was recently implemented at JYFLTRAP, offers an increase in the mass resolving power by a factor of ten. In addition, isomeric yield ratios were also determined by means of γ-ray spectroscopy.

From a comparison of the same isomeric pair from two different reactions, a dependency on the fissioning system can be observed. This indicates an effect of the fission mode to the yield ratio. Moreover, the evolution of the odd-A isotopes of Cd and In in the mass range A = 119 - 127 exhibit two distinguishably different trends. The ratios for the isotopes of In decrease with increasing mass, while the ratios for the isotopes of Cd are almost constant until mass number A = 125, where an increase can be noticed.

The origins of the angular momentum in the fission fragments is one of the long-standing questions regarding the fission process. Surprisingly, fission fragments have been observed to carry a considerable amount of angular momentum, even from fissioning systems with very low (or even zero) angular momentum. So far, the angular momentum can only be inferred from other fission observables, such as the isomeric yield ratios. In this work, a methodology was developed in order to deduce the root-mean-square angular momentum (Jrms) of the primary fragments by employing the nuclear reaction code TALYS.

Lower values of Jrms for the more spherical nuclei, near the closed-shell neutron configuration at N = 82, and higher ones for fragments with odd proton number have been deduced, in agreement with other studies. Moreover, a correlation between the angular momentum of the primary fragments with the electric quadrupole moments of the products was observed for the isotopes of In. The data can be used to gain insight into scission configuration and as guide for models that propose mechanisms for the generation of the angular momentum. Furthermore, the observed correlation is an indication of the role that the repulsive Coulomb force, together with the shape of the nascent fragment, play in the generation of the fragments’ angular momentum.