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The $$^{95}$$Zr($$n, gamma$$)$$^{96}$$Zr cross section from the surrogate ratio method and its effect on $$s$$-process nucleosynthesis

Yan, S. Q.*; Li, Z. H.*; Wang, Y. B.*; Nishio, Katsuhisa; Lugaro, M.*; Karakas, A. I.*; Makii, Hiroyuki; Mohr, P.*; Su, J.*; Li, Y. J.*; Nishinaka, Ichiro*; Hirose, Kentaro; Han, Y. L.*; Orlandi, R.; Shen, Y. P.*; Guo, B.*; Zeng, S.*; Lian, G.*; Chen, Y. S.*; Liu, W. P.*

The $$^{95}$$Zr($$n, gamma$$)$$^{96}$$Zr reaction cross section is crucial in the modelling of $$s$$-process nucleosynthesis in asymptotic giant branch stars because it controls the operation of the branching point at the unstable $$^{95}$$Zr and the subsequent production of $$^{96}$$Zr. We have carried out the measurement of the $$^{90}$$Zr($$^{18}$$O,$$^{16}$$O) and $$^{94}$$Zr($$^{18}$$O,$$^{16}$$O) reactions and obtained the $$gamma$$-decay probability ratio of $$^{92}$$Zr$$^{*}$$ and $$^{96}$$Zr$$^{*}$$ to determine the $$^{95}$$Zr($$n, gamma$$)$$^{96}$$Zr reaction cross sections with the surrogate ratio method. We tested our deduced maxwellian-averaged cross section in stellar models with masses between 2 and 6 $$M_{odot}$$ and metallicities 0.014 and 0.03. The largest changes - up 80 % variations in $$^{96}$$Zr - are seen in the models of 3-4 $$M_{odot}$$, where the $$^{22}$$Ne neutron source is mildly activated. The new rate can still provide a match to data from meteoritic stardust silicon carbide grains, provided the maximum mass of the parent stars is below 4 $$M_{odot}$$, for a metallicity of 0.03.

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