A γ-decaying isomeric state (τ1/2=197-17+19 ns) has been identified in Cd96, which is one α particle away from the last known bound N=Z nucleus, Sn100. Comparison of the results with shell-model calculations has allowed a tentative experimental level scheme to be deduced and the isomer to be interpreted as a medium-spin negative-parity spin trap based on the coupling of isoscalar (T=0) and isovector (T=1) neutron-proton pairs. The data also suggest evidence for the population of a 9+ T=1 state, which is predicted by shell-model calculations to be yrast. Such a low-lying T=1 state, which is unknown in lighter mass even-even self-conjugate nuclei, can also be interpreted in terms of the coupling of T=0 and T=1 neutron-proton pairs.
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