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Nonresonant $$p$$-wave direct capture and interference effect observed in the $$^{16}$$O$$(n,gamma)^{17}$$O reaction

Nagai, Yasuki*; Kinoshita, Mitsutaka*; Igashira, Masayuki*; Nobuhara, Yuriko*; Makii, Hiroyuki; Mishima, Kenji*; Shima, Tatsushi*; Mengoni, A.*

We measured the total capture cross section of the $$^{16}$$O$$(n,gamma)^{17}$$O reaction, as well as partial cross sections leading to the ground ($$J^{pi} = 5/2^{+})$$ and first excited ($$J^{pi} = 1/2^{+})$$ states in $$^{17}$$O. The measurement was carried out at average neutron energies of 157, 349, 398, 427, 468, 498, and 556 keV by using pulsed neutrons produced via the $$^{7}$$Li$$(p,n)^{7}$$Be reaction and a $$gamma$$-ray detection system based on an anti-Compton NaI(Tl) spectrometer. We observed the interference effect between the $$3/2^{-}$$ resonance state at 4554 keV of $$^{17}$$O, corresponding to a neutron energy of 411 keV in the center-of-mass system, and a non-resonant contribution in the capture process. The measured partial cross sections are in good agreement with theoretical calculations obtained taking into account the interference between the $$3/2^{-}$$ resonance and a non-resonant p-wave direct radiative capture contribution. Using the present results, together with our previous measurement, we derived the Maxwellian-averaged capture cross sections (MACS) for thermal energies between kT = 5 and 100 keV, key quantities for ${it s}$ process nucleosynthesis studies in massive stars.

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