Excited states in the N=102 isotones Gd166 and Sm164 have been observed following isomeric decay for the first time at RIBF, RIKEN. The half-lives of the isomeric states have been measured to be 950(60) and 600(140) ns for Gd166 and Sm164, respectively. Based on the decay patterns and potential energy surface calculations, including β6 deformation, a spin and parity of 6- has been assigned to the isomeric states in both nuclei. Collective observables are discussed in light of the systematics of the region, giving insight into nuclear shape evolution. The decrease in the ground-band energies of Gd166 and Sm164 (N=102) compared to Gd164 and Sm162 (N=100), respectively, presents evidence for the predicted deformed shell closure at N=100.
!!!All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes