Neutron activation of natural zinc samples at kT = 25 keV

The neutron-capture cross sections of 64Zn, 68Zn, and 70Zn have been measured with the activation technique in a quasistellar neutron spectrum corresponding to a thermal energy of kT = 25 keV. By a series of repeated irradiations with different experimental conditions, an uncertainty of 3% could be achieved for the 64Zn(n,g)65Zn cross section and for the partial cross section 68Zn(n,g)69Zn-m feeding the isomeric state in 69Zn. For the partial cross sections 70Zn(n,g)71Zn-m and 70Zn(n,g)71Zn-g, which had not been measured so far, uncertainties of only 16% and 6% could be reached because of limited counting statistics and decay intensities. Compared to previous measurements on 64,68Zn, the uncertainties could be significantly improved, while the 70Zn cross section was found to be two times smaller than existing model calculations. From these results Maxwellian average cross sections were determined between 5 and 100 keV. Additionally, the beta-decay half-life of 71Zn-m could be determined with significantly improved accuracy. The consequences of these data have been studied by network calculations for convective core He burning and convective shell C burning in massive stars.

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Date added: Tue, 8 Oct 13