Roentgenium (111Rg) is a synthetic element, and thus a standard atomic weight cannot be given. Like all synthetic elements, it has no stable isotopes. The first isotope to be synthesized was 272Rg in 1994, which is also the only directly synthesized isotope; all others are decay products of heavier elements. There are 7 known radioisotopes from 272Rg to 282Rg. The longest-lived isotope is 282Rg with a half-life of 2.1 minutes, although the unconfirmed 283Rg and 286Rg may have longer half-lives of about 5.1 minutes and 10.7 minutes respectively.
||Z||N||Isotopic mass (Da)
[n 1][n 2]
|274Rg[n 5]||111||163||274.15525(19)#||6.4(+307−29) ms||α||270Mt|
|278Rg[n 6]||111||167||278.16149(38)#||4.2(+75−17) ms||α||274Mt|
|279Rg[n 7]||111||168||279.16272(51)#||0.17(+81−8) s||α||275Mt|
|280Rg[n 8]||111||169||280.16514(61)#||3.6(+43−13) s||α (87%)||276Mt|
|281Rg[n 9]||111||170||281.16636(89)#||17 (+6−3) s||SF (90%)||(various)|
|282Rg[n 10]||111||171||282.16912(72)#||2.1 (+1.4-0.6) min||α||278Mt|
|283Rg[n 11]||111||172||283.17054(79)#||5.1 min?||SF||(various)|
|286Rg[n 12]||111||175||10.7 min?||α||282Mt|
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Super-heavy elements such as roentgenium are produced by bombarding lighter elements in particle accelerators that induce fusion reactions. Whereas the lightest isotope of roentgenium, roentgenium-272, can be synthesized directly this way, all the heavier roentgenium isotopes have only been observed as decay products of elements with higher atomic numbers.
Depending on the energies involved, fusion reactions can be categorized as "hot" or "cold". In hot fusion reactions, very light, high-energy projectiles are accelerated toward very heavy targets (actinides), giving rise to compound nuclei at high excitation energy (~40–50 MeV) that may either fission or evaporate several (3 to 5) neutrons. In cold fusion reactions, the produced fused nuclei have a relatively low excitation energy (~10–20 MeV), which decreases the probability that these products will undergo fission reactions. As the fused nuclei cool to the ground state, they require emission of only one or two neutrons, and thus, allows for the generation of more neutron-rich products. The latter is a distinct concept from that of where nuclear fusion claimed to be achieved at room temperature conditions (see cold fusion).
The table below contains various combinations of targets and projectiles which could be used to form compound nuclei with Z=111.
|205Tl||70Zn||275Rg||Failure to date|
|231Pa||48Ca||279Rg||Reaction yet to be attempted|
|238U||41K||279Rg||Reaction yet to be attempted|
|244Pu||37Cl||281Rg||Reaction yet to be attempted|
|248Cm||31P||279Rg||Reaction yet to be attempted|
|250Cm||31P||281Rg||Reaction yet to be attempted|
Before the first successful synthesis of roentgenium in 1994 by the GSI team, a team at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia, also tried to synthesize roentgenium by bombarding bismuth-209 with nickel-64 in 1986. No roentgenium atoms were identified. After an upgrade of their facilities, the team at GSI successfully detected 3 atoms of 272Rg in their discovery experiment. A further 3 atoms were synthesized in 2002. The discovery of roentgenium was confirmed in 2003 when a team at RIKEN measured the decays of 14 atoms of 272Rg.
The same roentgenium isotope was also observed by an American team at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) from the reaction:
The 205Tl(70Zn,n)274Rg reaction was tried by the RIKEN team in 2004 and repeated in 2010 in an attempt to secure the discovery of its parent 278Nh:
Due to the weakness of the thallium target, they were unable to detect any atoms of 274Rg.
|Evaporation residue||Observed roentgenium isotope|
|294Lv, 290Fl, 290Nh ?||286Rg ?|
|287Fl, 287Nh ?||283Rg ?|
|294Ts, 290Mc, 286Nh||282Rg|
|293Ts, 289Mc, 285Nh||281Rg|
All the isotopes of roentgenium except roentgenium-272 have been detected only in the decay chains of elements with a higher atomic number, such as nihonium. Nihonium currently has seven known isotopes; all of them undergo alpha decays to become roentgenium nuclei, with mass numbers between 274 and 286. Parent nihonium nuclei can be themselves decay products of moscovium and tennessine, and (unconfirmed) flerovium and livermorium. To date, no other elements have been known to decay to roentgenium. For example, in January 2010, the Dubna team (JINR) identified roentgenium-281 as a final product in the decay of tennessine via an alpha decay sequence:
Two atoms of 274Rg have been observed in the decay chain of 278Nh. They decay by alpha emission, emitting alpha particles with different energies, and have different lifetimes. In addition, the two entire decay chains appear to be different. This suggests the presence of two nuclear isomers but further research is required.
Four alpha particles emitted from 272Rg with energies of 11.37, 11.03, 10.82, and 10.40 MeV have been detected. The GSI measured 272Rg to have a half-life of 1.6 ms while recent data from RIKEN have given a half-life of 3.8 ms. The conflicting data may be due to nuclear isomers but the current data are insufficient to come to any firm assignments.
The table below provides cross-sections and excitation energies for cold fusion reactions producing roentgenium isotopes directly. Data in bold represent maxima derived from excitation function measurements. + represents an observed exit channel.
|64Ni||209Bi||273Rg||3.5 pb, 12.5 MeV|
|65Cu||208Pb||273Rg||1.7 pb, 13.2 MeV|
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
|238U||41K||279Rg||4n (275Rg)||0.21 pb||DNS|||
|244Pu||37Cl||281Rg||4n (277Rg)||0.33 pb||DNS|||
|248Cm||31P||279Rg||4n (277Rg)||1.85 pb||DNS|||
|250Cm||31P||281Rg||4n (277Rg)||0.41 pb||DNS|||