Nucleosynthesis of nuclei near the N=50 neutron shell closure

  • Most of the elements heavier than iron are produced through neutron capture reactions in the s- and r -process. The overall path of the s-process is well understood and can be accurately reproduced in network simulations. However, there are still some neutron capture reactions of unstable nuclei involved in the s-process, which were not yet measured due to the difficulty in producing suitable targets. In those cases, theoretical models have to be used to estimate the missing cross section. One example is the branching point nucleus 86Rb, whose neutron capture cross section cannot be directly measured due to its short half life of 18.86 days. It is, however, also possible to measure its inverse, the 87Rb(g,n) reaction in order to obtain the 86Rb(n,g) cross section through the principle of detailed balance. Natural rubidium was irradiated with a quasi-monoenergetic photon beam in the energy range between 10.7 MeV and 16 MeV in order to investigate the photo-dissociation cross section of 87Rb. The results are presented in this thesis. Not only the total cross section of 87Rb(g,n), but also the partial production cross section of the ground and isomeric state of 84Rb through the 85Rb(g,n) reaction was measured. Not all isotopes can be reached via neutron capture reaction, and are therefore bypassed by the s- and r -process. These 35 proton-rich isotopes are called p-nuclei and are produced in the γ-process by a chain of photo-disintegration reactions in Type II supernovae. Network calculations of Type II supernova show that the γ-process can explain the production of most p-nuclei, but some – especially 92/94Mo and 96/98Ru – are heavily underproduced. While this could be the result of deficiencies in the corresponding stellar models or insufficient knowledge of the involved reaction rates, it is also possible that the missing p-nuclei are synthesized in other production scenarios. An alternative scenario for 92Mo is the production via a chain of proton capture reactions in Type Ia supernovae. One important reaction in this chain is the 90Zr(p,g) reaction. The reaction cross section was already measured several times, but the results were inconclusive. In the present work, the 90 Zr(p,g) reaction was measured using the in-beam gamma-ray spectroscopy technique and the discrepancies between the data sets could be largely explained.

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Author:Philipp ErbacherORCiDGND
Place of publication:Frankfurt am Main
Referee:René ReifarthORCiDGND, Kerstin SonnabendGND
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Date of Publication (online):2018/08/08
Year of first Publication:2018
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Granting Institution:Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität
Date of final exam:2018/06/22
Release Date:2018/08/16
Page Number:II, 106
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 53 Physik / 530 Physik
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht