Prospects of heavy and superheavy element production via inelastic nucleus-nucleus collisions – from 238U+238U to18O+254Es
GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research, Planckstr. 1, 64291 Darmstadt, Germany
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Published online: 1 December 2016
Multi-nucleon transfer reactions, frequently termed deep-inelastic, between heavy-ion projectiles and actinide targets provide prospects to synthesize unknown isotopes of heavy actinides and superheavy elements with neutron numbers beyond present limits. The 238U on 238U reaction, which revealed essential aspects of those nuclear reactions leading to surviving heavy nuclides, mainly produced in 3n and 4n evaporation channels, is discussed in detail. Positions and widths of isotope distributions are compared. It is shown, as a general rule, that cross sections peak at irradiation energies about 10% above the Coulomb barrier. Heavy target nuclei are essential for maximizing cross sections. Experimental results from the 238U on 248Cm reaction, including empirical extrapolations, are compared with theoretical model calculations predicting relatively high cross sections for neutron-rich nuclei. Experiments to test the validity of such predictions are proposed. Comparisons between rather symmetric heavy-ion reactions like 238U on 248Cm (or heavier targets up to 254Es) with very asymmetric ones like 18O on 254Es reveal that the ones with 238U as a projectile have the highest potential in the superheavy element region while the latter ones can be advantageous for the synthesis of heavy actinide isotopes. Concepts for highly efficient recoil separators designed for transfer products are presented.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences 2016
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).