A search for superheavy elements which are expected to occur around the predicted nuclear shell closures at atomic number 114 and neutron number 184 was made in bombardments of 248Cm with 48Ca ions. We have carried out this search at energies close to the Coulomb barrier to keep the excitation energy of the compound nucleus Z = 116, A = 296 as low as possible. The experiments were performed at the accelerators SUPERHILAC (Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (LBL)) and UNILAC (GSI) and used a variety of improved physical and chemical techniques for the isolation and detection of superheavy elements to increase the sensitivity relative to earlier experiments. The small-angle separator system (SASSY) at LBL and the separator for heavy-ion reaction products (SHIP) at GSI were used for shortlived nuclides, and several radiochemical techniques were applied for longer half-lives. Although a broad range of half-lives, 10-6 to 108 s, and excitation energies, 16 to 40 MeV, has been examined, no evidence for the formation of superheavy elements with cross sections greater than 10-34 to 10-35 cm2 was found.
ASJC Scopus subject areas