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Journal Article

Exploring laser-driven neutron sources for neutron capture cascades and the production of neutron-rich isotopes

MPS-Authors
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Hill,  Paul
Division Prof. Dr. Christoph H. Keitel, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Wu,  Yuanbin
Division Prof. Dr. Christoph H. Keitel, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Fulltext (public)

2004.07953.pdf
(Preprint), 999KB

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Citation

Hill, P., & Wu, Y. (2021). Exploring laser-driven neutron sources for neutron capture cascades and the production of neutron-rich isotopes. Physical Review C, 103(1): 014602. doi:10.1103/PhysRevC.103.014602.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-DC7A-9
Abstract
The production of neutron-rich isotopes and the occurrence of neutron capture cascades via laser-driven (pulsed) neutron sources are investigated theoretically. The considered scenario involves the interaction of a laser-driven neutron beam with a target made of a single type of seed nuclide. We present a comprehensive study over $95$ seed nuclides in the range $3\le Z \le 100$ from $^7_3$Li to $^{255}_{100}$Fm. For each element, the heaviest sufficiently-long-lived (half life $> 1$ h) isotope whose data is available in the recent ENDF-B-VIII.0 neutron sublibrary is considered. We identify interesting seed nuclides with good performance in the production of neutron-rich isotopes where neutron capture cascades may occur. The effects of the neutron number per pulse, the neutron-target interaction size and the number of neutron pulses are also analyzed. Our results show the possibility of observing up to $4$ successive neutron capture events leading to neutron-rich isotopes with $4$ more neutrons than the original seed nuclide. This hints at new experimental possibilities to produce neutron-rich isotopes and simulate neutron capture nucleosynthesis in the laboratory. With several selected interesting seed nuclides in the region of the branching point of the $s$-process ($^{126}_{51}$Sb, $^{176}_{71}$Lu and $^{187}_{75}$Re) or the waiting point of the $r$-process (Lu, Re, Os, Tm, Ir and Au), we expect that laser-driven experiments can shed light on our understanding of nucleosynthesis.