Depending on the energies involved, the former are separated into "hot" and "cold". In hot fusion reactions, very light, high-energy projectiles are accelerated toward very heavy targets (actinides), giving rise to compound nuclei at high excitation energy (~40–50 MeV) that may either fission or evaporate several (3 to 5) neutrons. In cold fusion reactions, the produced fused nuclei have a relatively low excitation energy (~10–20 MeV), which decreases the probability that these products will undergo fission reactions. As the fused nuclei cool to the ground state, they require emission of only one or two neutrons, and thus, allows for the generation of more neutron-rich products. The latter is a distinct concept from that of where nuclear fusion claimed to be achieved at room temperature conditions (see cold fusion).
The table below contains various combinations of targets and projectiles which could be used to form compound nuclei with Z=110.
Failure to date
Failure to date
Reaction yet to be attempted
Reaction yet to be attempted
Reaction yet to be attempted
Reaction yet to be attempted
Before the first successful synthesis of darmstadtium in 1994 by the GSI team, scientists at GSI also tried to synthesize darmstadtium by bombarding lead-208 with nickel-64 in 1985. No darmstadtium atoms were identified. After an upgrade of their facilities, the team at GSI successfully detected 9 atoms of 271Ds in two runs of their discovery experiment in 1994. This reaction was successfully repeated in 2000 by GSI (4 atoms), in 2000 and 2004 by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) (9 atoms in total) and in 2002 by RIKEN (14 atoms). The GSI team studied the analogous reaction with nickel-62 instead of nickel-64 in 1994 as part of their discovery experiment. Three atoms of 269Ds were detected. A fourth decay chain was measured but was subsequently retracted.
In addition to the official discovery reactions, in October–November 2000, the team at GSI also studied the analogous reaction using a lead-207 target in order to synthesize the new isotope 270Ds. They succeeded in synthesising 8 atoms of 270Ds, relating to a ground state isomer, 270Ds, and a high-spinmetastable state, 270mDs.
They were unable to detect any darmstadtium atoms. In 1995, the team at LBNL reported that they had succeeded in detecting a single atom of 267Ds using this reaction. However, several decays were not measured and further research is required to confirm this discovery.
In 1986, the GSI team attempted to synthesise element 110 by bombarding a uranium-235 target with accelerated argon-40 ions. No atoms were detected.
In September 1994, the team at Dubna detected a single atom of 273Ds by bombarding a plutonium-244 target with accelerated sulfur-34 ions.
Experiments have been performed in 2004 at the Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions in Dubna studying the fission characteristics of the compound nucleus 280Ds, produced through the nuclear reaction:
232 90Th + 48 20Ca → 280 110Ds* → fission
The result revealed how compound nuclei such as this fission predominantly by expelling magic and doubly magic nuclei such as 132Sn (Z=50, N=82). No darmstadtium atoms were obtained. A compound nucleus is a loose combination of nucleons that have not arranged themselves into nuclear shells yet. It has no internal structure and is held together only by the collision forces between the target and projectile nuclei. It is estimated that it requires around 10−14 s for the nucleons to arrange themselves into nuclear shells, at which point the compound nucleus becomes a nuclide, and this number is used by IUPAC as the minimum half-life a claimed isotope must have to potentially be recognised as being discovered.
Darmstadtium has been observed as a decay product of copernicium. Copernicium currently has seven known isotopes, four of which have been shown to undergo alpha decays to become darmstadtium nuclei, with mass numbers between 273 and 281. Darmstadtium isotopes with mass numbers 277, 279 and 281 to date have only been produced by copernicium nuclei decay. Parent copernicium nuclei can be themselves decay products of flerovium or livermorium. Darmstadtium may also have been produced in the electron capture decay of roentgenium nuclei which are themselves daughters of nihonium, moscovium, or tennessine. To date, no other elements have been known to decay to darmstadtium. For example, in 2004, the Dubna team (JINR) identified darmstadtium-281 as a product in the decay of livermorium via an alpha decay sequence:
293 116Lv → 289 114Fl + 4 2He
289 114Fl → 285 112Cn + 4 2He
285 112Cn → 281 110Ds + 4 2He
The first synthesis of element 114 resulted in two atoms assigned to 288Fl, decaying to the 280Ds, which underwent spontaneous fission. The assignment was later changed to 289Fl and the darmstadtium isotope to 281Ds. Hence, 280Ds remained unknown until 2016, when it was populated by the hitherto unknown alpha decay of 284Cn (previously, that nucleus was only known to undergo spontaneous fission).
In the claimed synthesis of 293Og in 1999, the isotope 277Ds was identified as decaying by 10.18 MeV alpha emission with a half-life of 3.0 ms. This claim was retracted in 2001. This isotope was finally created in 2010 and its decay data supported the fabrication of previous data.
In the synthesis of 277Cn in 1996 by GSI (see copernicium), one decay chain proceeded via273Ds, which decayed by emission of a 9.73 MeV alpha particle with a lifetime of 170 ms. This would have been assigned to an isomeric level. This data could not be confirmed and thus this isotope is currently unknown or unconfirmed.
In the first attempt to synthesize darmstadtium, a 10 ms SF activity was assigned to 272Ds in the reaction 232Th(44Ca,4n). Given current understanding regarding stability, this isotope has been retracted from the table of isotopes.
The current partial decay level scheme for 270Ds proposed following the work of Hofmann et al. in 2000 at GSI
The production of 281Ds by the decay of 289Fl or 293Lv has produced two very different decay modes. The most common and readily confirmed mode is spontaneous fission with a half-life of 11 s. A much rarer and as yet unconfirmed mode is alpha decay by emission of an alpha particle with energy 8.77 MeV with an observed half-life of around 3.7 min. This decay is associated with a unique decay pathway from the parent nuclides and must be assigned to an isomeric level. The half-life suggests that it must be assigned to an isomeric state but further research is required to confirm these reports. It was suggested in 2016 that this unknown activity might be due to 282Mt, the great-granddaughter of 290Fl via electron capture and two consecutive alpha decays.
Decay data from the direct synthesis of 271Ds clearly indicates the presence of two nuclear isomers. The first emits alpha particles with energies 10.74 and 10.69 MeV and has a half-life of 1.63 ms. The other only emits alpha particles with an energy of 10.71 MeV and has a half-life of 69 ms. The first has been assigned to the ground state and the latter to an isomeric level. It has been suggested that the closeness of the alpha decay energies indicates that the isomeric level may decay primarily by delayed isomeric transition to the ground state, resulting in an identical measured alpha energy and a combined half-life for the two processes.
The direct production of 270Ds has clearly identified two nuclear isomers. The ground state decays by alpha emission into the ground state of 266Hs by emitting an alpha particle with energy 11.03 MeV and has a half-life of 0.10 ms. The metastable state decays by alpha emission, emitting alpha particles with energies of 12.15, 11.15, and 10.95 MeV, and has a half-life of 6 ms. When the metastable state emits an alpha particle of energy 12.15 MeV, it decays into the ground state of 266Hs, indicating that it has 1.12 MeV of excess energy.
Chemical yields of isotopes
The table below provides cross-sections and excitation energies for cold fusion reactions producing darmstadtium isotopes directly. Data in bold represent maxima derived from excitation function measurements. + represents an observed exit channel.
15 pb, 9.9 MeV
Fission of compound nuclei with Z=110
Experiments have been performed in 2004 at the Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions in Dubna studying the fission characteristics of the compound nucleus 280Ds. The nuclear reaction used is 232Th+48Ca. The result revealed how nuclei such as this fission predominantly by expelling closed shell nuclei such as 132Sn (Z=50, N=82).
Theoretical calculation in a quantum tunneling model reproduces the experimental alpha decay half live data. It also predicts that the isotope 294Ds would have alpha decay half-life of the order of 311 years.
Evaporation residue cross sections
The below table contains various targets-projectile combinations for which calculations have provided estimates for cross section yields from various neutron evaporation channels. The channel with the highest expected yield is given.
^Utyonkov, V. K.; Brewer, N. T.; Oganessian, Yu. Ts.; Rykaczewski, K. P.; Abdullin, F. Sh.; Dimitriev, S. N.; Grzywacz, R. K.; Itkis, M. G.; Miernik, K.; Polyakov, A. N.; Roberto, J. B.; Sagaidak, R. N.; Shirokovsky, I. V.; Shumeiko, M. V.; Tsyganov, Yu. S.; Voinov, A. A.; Subbotin, V. G.; Sukhov, A. M.; Karpov, A. V.; Popeko, A. G.; Sabel'nikov, A. V.; Svirikhin, A. I.; Vostokin, G. K.; Hamilton, J. H.; Kovrinzhykh, N. D.; Schlattauer, L.; Stoyer, M. A.; Gan, Z.; Huang, W. X.; Ma, L. (30 January 2018). "Neutron-deficient superheavy nuclei obtained in the 240Pu+48Ca reaction". Physical Review C. 97 (14320): 014320. Bibcode:2018PhRvC..97a4320U. doi:10.1103/PhysRevC.97.014320.
^Kaji, Daiya; Morita, Kosuke; Morimoto, Kouji; Haba, Hiromitsu; Asai, Masato; Fujita, Kunihiro; Gan, Zaiguo; Geissel, Hans; Hasebe, Hiroo; Hofmann, Sigurd; Huang, MingHui; Komori, Yukiko; Ma, Long; Maurer, Joachim; Murakami, Masashi; Takeyama, Mirei; Tokanai, Fuyuki; Tanaka, Taiki; Wakabayashi, Yasuo; Yamaguchi, Takayuki; Yamaki, Sayaka; Yoshida, Atsushi (2017). "Study of the Reaction 48Ca + 248Cm → 296Lv* at RIKEN-GARIS". Journal of the Physical Society of Japan. 86 (3): 034201–1–7. Bibcode:2017JPSJ...86c4201K. doi:10.7566/JPSJ.86.034201.
^ abArmbruster, Peter & Munzenberg, Gottfried (1989). "Creating superheavy elements". Scientific American. 34: 36–42.
^Barber, Robert C.; Gäggeler, Heinz W.; Karol, Paul J.; Nakahara, Hiromichi; Vardaci, Emanuele; Vogt, Erich (2009). "Discovery of the element with atomic number 112 (IUPAC Technical Report)". Pure and Applied Chemistry. 81 (7): 1331. doi:10.1351/PAC-REP-08-03-05.
^Fleischmann, Martin; Pons, Stanley (1989). "Electrochemically induced nuclear fusion of deuterium". Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry and Interfacial Electrochemistry. Elsevier. 261 (2): 301–308. doi:10.1016/0022-0728(89)80006-3.
^ abHofmann, S.; Ninov, V.; Heßberger, F. P.; Armbruster, P.; Folger, H.; Münzenberg, G.; Schött, H. J.; Popeko, A. G.; Yeremin, A. V.; Andreyev, A. N.; Saro, S.; Janik, R.; Leino, M. (1995). "Production and decay of269110". Zeitschrift für Physik A. 350 (4): 277–280. Bibcode:1995ZPhyA.350..277H. doi:10.1007/BF01291181.
^Ghiorso, A.; Lee, D.; Somerville, L.; Loveland, W.; Nitschke, J.; Ghiorso, W.; Seaborg, G.; Wilmarth, P.; Leres, R.; Wydler, A.; Nurmia, M.; Gregorich, K.; Czerwinski, K.; Gaylord, R.; Hamilton, T.; Hannink, N. J.; Hoffman, D. C.; Jarzynski, C.; Kacher, C.; Kadkhodayan, B.; Kreek, S.; Lane, M.; Lyon, A.; McMahan, M. A.; Neu, M.; Sikkeland, T.; Swiatecki, W. J.; Türler, A.; Walton, J. T.; Yashita, S. (1995). "Evidence for the possible synthesis of element 110 produced by the 59Co+209Bi reaction". Physical Review C. 51 (5): R2293. Bibcode:1995PhRvC..51.2293G. doi:10.1103/PhysRevC.51.R2293.
^Lazarev, Yu. A.; Lobanov, Yu.; Oganessian, Yu.; Utyonkov, V.; Abdullin, F.; Polyakov, A.; Rigol, J.; Shirokovsky, I.; Tsyganov, Yu.; Iliev, S.; Subbotin, V. G.; Sukhov, A. M.; Buklanov, G. V.; Gikal, B. N.; Kutner, V. B.; Mezentsev, A. N.; Subotic, K.; Wild, J. F.; Lougheed, R. W.; Moody, K. J. (1996). "α decay of 273110: Shell closure at N=162". Physical Review C. 54 (2): 620–625. Bibcode:1996PhRvC..54..620L. doi:10.1103/PhysRevC.54.620. PMID9971385.
Hofmann, S.; Ninov, V.; Heßberger, F. P.; Armbruster, P.; Folger, H.; Münzenberg, G.; Schött, H. J.; Popeko, A. G.; Yeremin, A. V.; Saro, S.; Janik, R.; Leino, M. (1996). "The new element 112". Zeitschrift für Physik A. 354 (1): 229–230. doi:10.1007/BF02769517.
^Hofmann, S.; Heinz, S.; Mann, R.; Maurer, J.; Münzenberg, G.; Antalic, S.; Barth, W.; Burkhard, H. G.; Dahl, L.; Eberhardt, K.; Grzywacz, R.; Hamilton, J. H.; Henderson, R. A.; Kenneally, J. M.; Kindler, B.; Kojouharov, I.; Lang, R.; Lommel, B.; Miernik, K.; Miller, D.; Moody, K. J.; Morita, K.; Nishio, K.; Popeko, A. G.; Roberto, J. B.; Runke, J.; Rykaczewski, K. P.; Saro, S.; Scheidenberger, C.; Schött, H. J.; Shaughnessy, D. A.; Stoyer, M. A.; Thörle-Popiesch, P.; Tinschert, K.; Trautmann, N.; Uusitalo, J.; Yeremin, A. V. (2016). "Review of even element super-heavy nuclei and search for element 120". The European Physical Journal A. 2016 (52): 180. Bibcode:2016EPJA...52..180H. doi:10.1140/epja/i2016-16180-4.