Radioactive targets for (p,γ) cross-section measurements

  • Most of the elements in the universe are produced via charged-particle fusion reactions during the primordial nucleosynthesis and different stellar burning stages, as well as via neutron-capture reactions. Around 35 heavy, proton-rich isotopes are bypassed by those reaction paths, the p nuclei. A series of photo-disintegration reactions occurring in supernovae, called the γ process, was suggested as a mechanisms to produce the p nuclei. Numerical simulations of the γ process have been unable to reproduce the observed abundances of the light p isotopes. Recent models showed that a series of proton capture reactions could provide the observed abundances. Hence, the cross sections of the crucial capture reactions have to be measured in order to test those assumptions. Radiative proton captures in addition to the γ-process could reproduce the observed abundance pattern. This thesis presents preparations of a proton capture measurement on the radioactive 91Nb in standard kinematics with a calorimetric 4π setup. The 91Nb(p,γ)92Mo reaction might be the key to explain the production of one of the most abundant p-nuclei, 92Mo. So far, no experimental data for this reaction is available. We produced a sample of 91Nb, with a half-life of 680 yr, at the Physikalisch Technische Bundesanstalt in Braunschweig, Germany, by irradiating 92Mo with protons in the energy range of 12 – 20MeV. 91Nb was produced via the reaction 92Mo(p,2p)91Nb and via 92Mo(p,pn)91Mo, where 91Mo decays to 91Nb with a half-life of 15.5min. To predict the amount of produced 91Nb the cross section of 92Mo(p, 2p) was measured. It was found to be higher than the value given by theoretical calculations with TALYS. Finally, 91Nb was chemically separated from the molybdenum carried at Paul-Scherrer- Institut, Villigen, Switzerland. In-beam total absorption cross-section measurement of the reaction 91Nb(p,γ)92Mo with 2 MeV protons at FRANZ is planed with the produced 91Nb. A 4π BaF2 detector consisting of 41 crystals will be used. During this experiment we will measure the sum energy and the multiplicity of each event. The freshly produced 91Nb constitutes only a minor component of the sample material. The sum energy and multiplicity are crucial to distinguish the desired 91Nb(p,γ) from all the other more dominant reactions. The expected multiplicity and the efficiency of the setup were carefully simulated with DICEBOX and GEANT4. It was possible to show that background reactions can be effectively suppressed. The most important background contributions could be identified and result from 92Mo(p,γ), 19F(p,γ), and 19F(p,α).

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Author:Benedikt Thomas
Place of publication:Frankfurt am Main
Referee:René ReifarthORCiDGND, Kerstin SonnabendGND
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Date of Publication (online):2018/04/18
Year of first Publication:2018
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Granting Institution:Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität
Date of final exam:2018/03/16
Release Date:2018/04/26
Page Number:viii, 99
Matematisch/-pysikalische Zeichen auf der Frontdoor können technisch teilweise nicht korrekt dargestellt werden
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 53 Physik / 530 Physik
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht