Isotopes of livermorium


Livermorium (116Lv) is an artificial element, and thus a standard atomic weight cannot be given. Like all artificial elements, it has no stable isotopes. The first isotope to be synthesized was 293Lv in 2000. There are four known radioisotopes from 290Lv to 293Lv, as well as a few suggestive indications of a possible heavier isotope 294Lv. The longest-lived of the four well-characterised isotopes is 293Lv with a half-life of 53 ms.[1]

Main isotopes of livermorium (116Lv)
Iso­tope Decay
abun­dance half-life (t1/2) mode pro­duct
290Lv syn 8 ms α 286Fl
291Lv syn 18 ms α 287Fl
292Lv syn 12 ms α 288Fl
293Lv syn 53 ms α 289Fl
294Lv syn 54 ms? α 290Fl

List of isotopesEdit

Z N Isotopic mass (Da)
[n 1][n 2]
[n 3]


Spin and
290Lv 116 174 290.19864(71)# 15(+26−6) ms α 286Fl 0+
291Lv 116 175 291.20108(66)# 6.3(+116−25) ms α 287Fl
292Lv 116 176 292.20174(91)# 18.0(+16−6) ms α 288Fl 0+
293Lv 116 177 293.20449(60)# 53(+62−19) ms α 289Fl
294Lv[n 4] 116 178 54 ms#[2] α ? 290Fl 0+
This table header & footer:
  1. ^ ( ) – Uncertainty (1σ) is given in concise form in parentheses after the corresponding last digits.
  2. ^ # – Atomic mass marked #: value and uncertainty derived not from purely experimental data, but at least partly from trends from the Mass Surface (TMS).
  3. ^ # – Values marked # are not purely derived from experimental data, but at least partly from trends of neighboring nuclides (TNN).
  4. ^ This isotope is unconfirmed


Target-projectile combinations leading to Z=116 compound nucleiEdit

The below table contains various combinations of targets and projectiles which could be used to form compound nuclei with atomic number 116.

Target Projectile CN Attempt result
208Pb 82Se 290Lv Failure to date
238U 54Cr 292Lv Failure to date
244Pu 50Ti 294Lv Planned reaction[3]
250Cm 48Ca 298Lv Reaction yet to be attempted
248Cm 48Ca 296Lv Successful reaction
246Cm 48Ca 294Lv Reaction yet to be attempted
245Cm 48Ca 293Lv Successful reaction
243Cm 48Ca 291Lv Reaction yet to be attempted
248Cm 44Ca 292Lv Reaction yet to be attempted
251Cf 40Ar 291Lv Reaction yet to be attempted

Cold fusionEdit


In 1995, the team at GSI attempted the synthesis of 290Lv as a radiative capture (x=0) product. No atoms were detected during a six-week experimental run, reaching a cross section limit of 3 pb.[4]

Hot fusionEdit

This section deals with the synthesis of nuclei of livermorium by so-called "hot" fusion reactions. These are processes which create compound nuclei at high excitation energy (~40–50 MeV, hence "hot"), leading to a reduced probability of survival from fission. The excited nucleus then decays to the ground state via the emission of 3–5 neutrons. Fusion reactions utilizing 48Ca nuclei usually produce compound nuclei with intermediate excitation energies (~30–35 MeV) and are sometimes referred to as "warm" fusion reactions. This leads, in part, to relatively high yields from these reactions.


There are sketchy indications that this reaction was attempted by the team at GSI in 2006. There are no published results on the outcome, presumably indicating that no atoms were detected. This is expected from a study of the systematics of cross sections for 238U targets.[5]

248Cm(48Ca,xn)296−xLv (x=2,3,4,5?)Edit

The first attempt to synthesise livermorium was performed in 1977 by Ken Hulet and his team at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). They were unable to detect any atoms of livermorium.[6] Yuri Oganessian and his team at the Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions (FLNR) subsequently attempted the reaction in 1978 and met failure. In 1985, a joint experiment between Berkeley and Peter Armbruster's team at GSI, the result was again negative with a calculated cross-section limit of 10–100 pb.[7]

In 2000, Russian scientists at Dubna finally succeeded in detecting a single atom of livermorium, assigned to the isotope 292Lv.[8] In 2001, they repeated the reaction and formed a further 2 atoms in a confirmation of their discovery experiment. A third atom was tentatively assigned to 293Lv on the basis of a missed parental alpha decay.[9] In April 2004, the team ran the experiment again at higher energy and were able to detect a new decay chain, assigned to 292Lv. On this basis, the original data were reassigned to 293Lv. The tentative chain is therefore possibly associated with a rare decay branch of this isotope or an isomer, 293mLv; given the possible reassignment of its daughter to 290Fl instead of 289Fl, it could also conceivably be 294Lv, although all these assignments are tentative and need confirmation in future experiments aimed at the 2n channel.[10][11] In this reaction, 2 further atoms of 293Lv were detected.[12]

In 2007, in a GSI-SHIP experiment, besides four 292Lv chains and one 293Lv chain, another chain was observed, initially not assigned but later shown to be 291Lv. However, it is unclear whether it comes from the 248Cm(48Ca,5n) reaction or from a reaction with a lighter curium isotope (present in the target as an admixture), such as 246Cm(48Ca,3n).[13][14]

In an experiment run at the GSI during June–July 2010, scientists detected six atoms of livermorium; two atoms of 293Lv and four atoms of 292Lv. They were able to confirm both the decay data and cross sections for the fusion reaction.[15]

A 2016 experiment at RIKEN aimed at studying the 48Ca+248Cm reaction seemingly detected one atom that may be assigned to 294Lv alpha decaying to 290Fl and 286Cn, which underwent spontaneous fission; however, the first alpha from the livermorium nuclide produced was missed.[2]

245Cm(48Ca,xn)293−xLv (x=2,3)Edit

In order to assist in the assignment of isotope mass numbers for livermorium, in March–May 2003 the Dubna team bombarded a 245Cm target with 48Ca ions. They were able to observe two new isotopes, assigned to 291Lv and 290Lv.[16] This experiment was successfully repeated in February–March 2005 where 10 atoms were created with identical decay data to those reported in the 2003 experiment.[17]

As a decay productEdit

Livermorium has also been observed in the decay of oganesson. In October 2006 it was announced that 3 atoms of oganesson had been detected by the bombardment of californium-249 with calcium-48 ions, which then rapidly decayed into livermorium.[17]

The observation of the daughter 290Lv allowed the assignment of the parent to 294Og and proved the synthesis of oganesson.

Fission of compound nuclei with Z=116Edit

Several experiments have been performed between 2000 and 2006 at the Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions in Dubna studying the fission characteristics of the compound nuclei 296,294,290Lv. Four nuclear reactions have been used, namely 248Cm+48Ca, 246Cm+48Ca, 244Pu+50Ti, and 232Th+58Fe. The results have revealed how nuclei such as this fission predominantly by expelling closed shell nuclei such as 132Sn (Z=50, N=82). It was also found that the yield for the fusion-fission pathway was similar between 48Ca and 58Fe projectiles, indicating a possible future use of 58Fe projectiles in superheavy element formation. In addition, in comparative experiments synthesizing 294Lv using 48Ca and 50Ti projectiles, the yield from fusion-fission was ~3x less for 50Ti, also suggesting a future use in SHE production.[18]

Retracted isotopesEdit


In 1999, researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory announced the synthesis of 293Og (see oganesson), in a paper published in Physical Review Letters.[19] The claimed isotope 289Lv decayed by 11.63 MeV alpha emission with a half-life of 0.64 ms. The following year, they published a retraction after other researchers were unable to duplicate the results.[20] In June 2002, the director of the lab announced that the original claim of the discovery of these two elements had been based on data fabricated by the principal author Victor Ninov. As such, this isotope of livermorium is currently unknown.

Chronology of isotope discoveryEdit

Isotope Year discovered Discovery reaction
290Lv 2002 249Cf(48Ca,3n)[21]
291Lv 2003 245Cm(48Ca,2n)[16]
292Lv 2004 248Cm(48Ca,4n)[12]
293Lv 2000 248Cm(48Ca,3n)[8]
294Lv ?? 2016 248Cm(48Ca,2n) ?

Yields of isotopesEdit

Hot fusionEdit

The table below provides cross-sections and excitation energies for hot fusion reactions producing livermorium isotopes directly. Data in bold represent maxima derived from excitation function measurements. + represents an observed exit channel.

Projectile Target CN 2n 3n 4n 5n
48Ca 248Cm 296Lv 1.1 pb, 38.9 MeV[12] 3.3 pb, 38.9 MeV[12]
48Ca 245Cm 293Lv 0.9 pb, 33.0 MeV[16] 3.7 pb, 37.9 MeV[16]

Theoretical calculationsEdit

Decay characteristicsEdit

Theoretical calculation in a quantum tunneling model supports the experimental data relating to the synthesis of 293Lv and 292Lv.[22][23]

Evaporation residue cross sectionsEdit

The below table contains various targets-projectile combinations for which calculations have provided estimates for cross section yields from various neutron evaporation channels. The channel with the highest expected yield is given.

DNS = Di-nuclear system; σ = cross section

Target Projectile CN Channel (product) σmax Model Ref
208Pb 82Se 290Lv 1n (289Lv) 0.1 pb DNS [24]
208Pb 79Se 287Lv 1n (286Lv) 0.5 pb DNS [24]
238U 54Cr 292Lv 2n (290Lv) 0.1 pb DNS [25]
250Cm 48Ca 298Lv 4n (294Lv) 5 pb DNS [25]
248Cm 48Ca 296Lv 4n (292Lv) 2 pb DNS [25]
247Cm 48Ca 295Lv 3n (292Lv) 3 pb DNS [25]
245Cm 48Ca 293Lv 3n (290Lv) 1.5 pb DNS [25]
243Cm 48Ca 291Lv 3n (288Lv) 1.53 pb DNS [26]
248Cm 44Ca 292Lv 4n (288Lv) 0.43 pb DNS [26]


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  21. ^ see oganesson
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  • Half-life, spin, and isomer data selected from the following sources.