A neutron source for activation measurements in a stellar spectrum at kT=8 keV

•Michael Heil1, S. Dababneh1, F. Käppeler1, S. O' Brien2, R. Plag1 und R. Reifarth3
1Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, Institut für Kernphysik, Postfach 3640, D-76021 Karlsruhe, Germany
2Department of Physics, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA
3Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545, USA

Since 1980 the 7Li(p,n)7Be reaction was intensively used for activation measurements. With a proton energy of Ep=1911 keV the resulting neutron spectrum resembles a Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution with a thermal energy of kT=25 keV. Therefore, this neutron source is ideal to determine Maxwellian-averaged neutron capture cross sections (MACS) close to a temperature of 250 million Kelvin (kT=23 keV) which is typical for the s process in red giant stars. Meanwhile, detailed stellar models indicate that the dominant neutron exposure of the main s-process component in low mass AGB stars takes place at a lower temperature of 90 million Kelvin (kT=8 keV). In order to supply the necessary reaction rates for the stellar models the values at 25 keV have to be extrapolated to the lower thermal energy, introducing additional uncertainties. In this contribution we report on a neutron source which allows to produce a Maxwell-Boltzmann spectrum close to the lower thermal energy of kT=8 keV.