Hammerton, K.; Morrissey, D.; Kohley, Z.; Hinde, D.; Dasgupta, M.; Wakhle, A.; Williams, E.; Carter, I.; Cook, K.; Greene, J.
Background: Formation of a fully equilibrated compound nucleus is a critical step in the heavy-ion fusion reaction mechanism but can be hindered by orders of magnitude by quasifission, a process in which the dinuclear system breaks apart prior to full equilibration. To provide a complete description of heavy-ion fusion it is important to characterize the quasifission process. In particular, the impact of changing the neutron richness on the quasifission process is not well known. A previous study of Cr + W reactions at a constant 13% above the Coulomb barrier concluded that an increase in neutron richness leads to a decrease in the prominence of the quasifission reaction channel. Purpose: The dynamics of quasifission for reactions with varying neutron richness was explored at a constant excitation energy, closer to the interaction barrier than the previous work, to see if the correlation between neutron richness and quasifission is valid at lower energies. Methods: Mass distributions were measured at the Australian National University for eight different combinations of Cr + W reactions, using the kinematic coincidence method. To eliminate the effect of differing excitation energies, measurements were made at beam energies chosen to give 52 MeV of excitation energy in all the compound nuclei. Results: A curvature parameter, describing the shape of the mass distributions, was determined for the fission-like fragment mass distributions for each reaction, and compared to various reaction parameters known to influence quasifission. Conclusions: The present work demonstrates that, at energies near the interaction barrier, the beam energy with respect to the barrier is as important as neutron-richness effects in determining the quasifission characteristics in these Cr + W reactions involving statically deformed target nuclei, and both are important considerations for future heavy and superheavy element production reactions.