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Advances in radiative capture studies at LUNA with a segmented BGO detector

Skowronski, J.; Gesuè, R. M.; Boeltzig, A.; Ciani, G. F.; Piatti, D.; Rapagnani, D.; Aliotta, M.; Ananna, C.; Barile, F.; Bemmerer, D.; Best, A.; Broggini, C.; Bruno, C. G.; Caciolli, A.; Campostrini, M.; Cavanna, F.; Colombetti, P.; Compagnucci, A.; Corvisiero, P.; Csedreki, L.; Davinson, T.; Depalo, R.; Di Leva, A.; Elekes, Z.; Ferraro, F.; Formicola, A.; Fulop, Z.; Gervino, G.; Guglielmetti, A.; Gustavino, C.; Gyurky, G.; Imbriani, G.; Junker, M.; Lugaro, M.; Marigo, P.; Masha, E.; Menegazzo, R.; Paticchio, V.; Perrino, R.; Prati, P.; Rigato, V.; Schiavulli, L.; Sidhu, R. S.; Straniero, O.; Szücs, T.; Zavatarelli, S.


Studies of charged-particle reactions for low-energy nuclear astrophysics require high sensitivity, which can be achieved by means of detection setups with high efficiency and low backgrounds, to obtain precise measurements in the energy region of interest for stellar scenarios. High-efficiency total absorption spectroscopy is an established and powerful tool for studying radiative capture reactions, particularly if combined with the cosmic background reduction by several orders of magnitude obtained at the Laboratory for Underground Nuclear Astrophysics (LUNA). We present recent improvements in the detection setup with the Bismuth Germanium Oxide (BGO) detector at LUNA, aiming to reduce high-energy backgrounds and to increase the summing detection efficiency. The new design results in enhanced sensitivity of the BGO setup, as we demonstrate and discuss in the context of the first direct measurement of the 65 keV resonance (Ex = 5672 keV) of the 17O(p,gamma)18F reaction. Moreover, we show two applications of the BGO detector, which exploit its segmentation. In case of complex gamma-ray cascades, e.g. the de-excitation of Ex = 5672 keV in 18F, the BGO segmentation allows to identify and suppress the beam-induced background signals that mimic the sum peak of interest. We demonstrate another new application for such a detector in form of in-site activation measurements of a reaction with beta+ unstable product nuclei, e.g., the 14N(p,gamma)15O reaction.


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