Study of Astrophysical s-Process Neutron Capture Reactions at the High-Intensity SARAF-LiLiT Neutron Source
Racah Institute of Physics, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel 91904
2 Soreq Nuclear Research Center, Yavneh, Israel, 81800
* e-mail: email@example.com
Published online: 6 April 2020
We report on recent experiments at the Soreq Applied Research Accelerator Facility Liquid-Lithium Target (SARAF-LiLiT) laboratory dedicated to the study of s-process neutron capture reactions. The kW-power proton beam at 1.92 MeV (1-2 mA) from SARAF Phase I yields high-intensity 30 keV quasi-Maxwellian neutrons (3-5×1010 n/s). The high neutron intensity enables Maxwellian averaged cross sections (MACS) measurements of low-abundance or radioactive targets. Neutron capture reactions on the important s-process branching points 147Pm and 171Tm were investigated by activation in the LiLiT neutron beam and γ-measurements of their decay products. MACS values at 30 keV extracted from the experimental spectrum-averaged cross sections are obtained and will be discussed. The Kr region, at the border between the so-called weak and strong s-process was also investigated. Atom Trap Trace Analysis (ATTA) was used for the first time for the measurement of a nuclear reaction cross section. After activation in the quasi-Maxwellian neutron flux at SARAF-LiLiT, isotopic ratios were determined for 81Kr(230 ky)/80Kr and 85gKr(10.8 y)/84Kr. The latter ratio was confirmed both by low-level β counting and γ spectrometry. The shorter-lived capture products 79,85m,87Kr were detected by γ -spectrometry and the corresponding neutron-capture MACS of the respective target nuclei 78,84,86Kr were determined. The MACS of the 80Kr(n, γ)81Kr and 84Kr(n, γ)85gKr reactions are still under study. The partial MACS leading to 85mKr(4.5 h) measured in this experiment has interesting implications since this state decays preferentially by γ decay (79%) to 85Rb on a faster time scale than does 85gKr and behaves thus as an s-process branching point.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2020
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.