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Report No.
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Neutron-proton pairing competition in $$N=Z$$ nuclei; Metastable state decays in the proton dripline nuclei $$^{82}_{41}$$Nb and $$^{86}_{43}$$Tc

Garnsworthy, A. B.*; Regan, P. H.*; C$'a$ceres, L.*; Pietri, S.*; Sun, Y.*; Rudolph, D.*; G$'o$rska, M.*; Podoly$'a$k, Z.*; Steer, S. J.*; Hoischen, R.*; Heinz, A.*; Becker, F.*; Bednarczyk, P.*; Doornenbal, P.*; Geissel, H.*; Gerl, J.*; Grawe, H.*; Gr$c{e}$bosz, J.*; Kelic, A.*; Kojouharov, I.*; Kurz, N.*; Montes, F.*; Prokopowicz, W.*; Saito, Takehiko*; Schaffner, H.*; Tashenov, S.*; Werner-Malento, E.*; Wollersheim, H. J.*; Benzoni, G.*; Blank, B. B.*; Brandau, C.*; Bruce, A. M.*; Camera, F.*; Catford, W. N.*; Cullen, I. J.*; Dombr$'a$di, Zs.*; Estevez, E.*; Gelletly, W.*; Ilie, G.*; Jolie, J.*; Jones, G. A.*; Jungclaus, A.*; Kmiecik, M.*; Kondev, F. G.*; Kurtukian-Nieto, T.*; Lalkovski, S.*; Liu, Z.*; Maj, A.*; Myalski, S.*; Pf$"u$tzner, M.*; Schwertel, S.*; Shizuma, Toshiyuki; Simons, A. J.*; Walker, P. M.*; Wieland, O.*; Xu, F. R.*

The low-lying structures of the self-conjugate ($$N=Z$$) nuclei $$^{82}_{41}$$Nb and $$^{86}_{43}$$Tc have been investigated using isomeric-decay spectroscopy following the projectile fragmentation of a $$^{107}$$Ag beam. These represent the heaviest odd-odd $$N=Z$$ nuclei in which internal decays have been identified to date. The resulting level schemes shed light on the shape evolution along the $$N=Z$$ line between the doubly-magic systems $$^{56}_{28}$$Ni and $$^{100}_{50}$$Sn and support a preference for $$T=1$$ states in $$T_z=0$$ odd-odd nuclei at low excitation energies associated with a $$T=1$$ neutron-proton pairing gap. Comparison with Projected Shell Model calculations suggests that the decay in $$^{82}$$Nb may be interpreted as an isospin-changing $$K$$ isomer.

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