The nucleus Ne29 is situated at the border of the island of inversion. Despite significant efforts, no bound low-lying intruder f7/2 state, which would place Ne29 firmly inside the island of inversion, has yet been observed. Here, the first investigation of unbound states of Ne29 is reported. The states were populated in Ne30(p,pn) and Na30(p,2p) reactions at a beam energy of around 230 MeV/nucleon, and analyzed in terms of their resonance properties, partial cross sections, and momentum distributions. The momentum distributions are compared to calculations using the eikonal, direct reaction model, allowing ℓ assignments for the observed states. The lowest-lying resonance at an excitation energy of 1.48(4) MeV shows clear signs of a significant ℓ=3 component, giving first evidence for f7/2 single particle strength in Ne29. The excitation energies and strengths of the observed states are compared to shell-model calculations using the sdpf-u-mix interaction.
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