The2H(d,p)3H reaction in metallic media at very low energies

K Czerski, A Huke, P Heide, G Ruprecht
2004 Europhysics letters  
PACS. 25.45.Hi -Transfer reactions. PACS. 95.30.Dr -Atomic processes and interactions. PACS. 95.30.-k -Fundamental aspects of astrophysics. Abstract. -Based on our experimental studies of the electron screening effect in the 2 H(d, p) 3 H reaction for five deuteron-implanted solid targets (C, Al, Zr, Pd, Ta), theoretical calculations have been performed within an improved dielectric function theory. The theory describes correctly the observed target material dependence of the screening
more » ... underestimating, however, the absolute values by about a factor of 2. Applying an effective screening energy approach, the theoretical cross-sections, thick-target yields as well as nuclear reaction rates have been calculated down to the energies corresponding to the conditions of so-called cold-fusion experiments. This allows for a comparison of the experimental results at higher energies with those achieved in the heavy-water electrolysis experiments. Introduction. -Nuclear reaction rates at very low projectile energies, far below the Coulomb barrier, are sensitive to the electronic properties of target materials. The electrons surrounding the reacting nuclei can increase the tunneling probability through the Coulomb barrier leading to an enhancement of nuclear reaction rates at low projectile energies. The electron screening effect was originally discussed due to its importance for dense astrophysical plasmas, where nuclear reaction rates can be increased by many orders of magnitudes [1]. Experimentally, the screening effect could be verified only fifteen years ago in gas target experiments [2] by an observation of an exponential-like increase of the measured cross-section for decreasing projectile energies compared to the cross-section expected for bare nuclei. Theoretically, this effect was described [3] by applying a conception of the electron screening energy resulting from the gain in the electron binding energy between the initially separated atoms and the finally united atom. In the experiments, the screening energy could be treated as an energy shift of the kinetic energy of the reacting nuclei causing an increase of the penetration probability through the Coulomb barrier.
doi:10.1209/epl/i2004-10209-3 fatcat:uekw6adbdfgxpm7fz3pei4kmyi