Proton Pair Correlations And The Neutrinoless Double-β Decay Of 76Ge

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Proton pair correlations relevant for the neutrinoless double-beta decay of Ge-76 have been probed via the Ge-74,Ge-76(He-3,n) reactions at 16 MeV. No evidence for pairing vibrations in either nucleus is observed at sensitivity limits of similar to 6% and similar to 19% of the ground-state strength in Se-76 and Se-78, respectively. These results are relevant for the understanding of matrix elements for neutrinoless double-beta decay. The lack of pairing vibrations is consistent with a simple BCS structure for the ground states of Ge-76 and Se-76, assumed in quasiparticle random phase approximation (QRPA) models of the process.