Mapping the N=40 island of inversion: Precision mass measurements of neutron-rich Fe isotopes
Nuclear properties across the chart of nuclides are key to improving and validating our understanding of the strong interaction in nuclear physics. We present high-precision mass measurements of neutron-rich Fe isotopes performed at the TITAN facility. The multiple-reflection time-of-flight mass spectrometer (MR-ToF-MS), achieving a resolving power greater than 600000 for the first time, enabled the measurement of Fe63-70, including first-time high-precision direct measurements (δm/m≈10-7) of Fe68-70, as well as the discovery of a long-lived isomeric state in Fe69. These measurements are accompanied by both mean-field and ab initio calculations using the most recent realizations which enable theoretical assignment of the spin-parities of the Fe69 ground and isomeric states. Together with mean-field calculations of quadrupole deformation parameters for the Fe isotope chain, these results benchmark a maximum of deformation in the N=40 island of inversion in Fe and shed light on trends in level densities indicated in the newly refined mass surface.