Covalently bound molecular structures in the α + 16O system
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Using the concept of covalent molecular orbitals for neutrons and the known properties of the local α + 16O potential the formation of asymmetric molecular structures in neon isotopes is discussed. Experimental evidence for parity doublets in 21Ne is reviewed and a corresponding band structure for the states in 21Ne at moderate excitation energy of Ex = 0-8 MeV is proposed. The structure of some bands can be interpreted as consisting of an instrinsic asymmetric ( 4He + 16O) structure bound by a covalent neutron in σ and π orbitals. An extension of the observed structures to symmetric molecular structures in isotopes of Mg and heavier nuclei is suggested. In particular shape isomers in isotopes of magnesium, namely (He)2O molecules, can be predicted and an extended Ikeda diagram is proposed.
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