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Da Silva, R.; Lemasle, B.; Bono, G.; Genovali, K.; McWilliam, A.; Cristallo, S.; Bergemann, M.; Buonanno, R.; Fabrizio, M.; Ferraro, I.; Francois, P.; Iannicola, G.; Inno, L.; Laney, C. D.; Kudritzki, R.-P.; Matsunaga, N.; Nonino, M.; Primas, F.; Przybilla, N.; Romaniello, M.; Thévenin, F.; Urbaneja, M. A. (2016): Neutron-capture elements across the Galactic thin disk using Cepheids. In: Astronomy & Astrophysics, Vol. 586, A125
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Abstract

We present new accurate abundances for five neutron-capture elements (Y, La, Ce, Nd, Eu) in 73 classical Cepheids located across the Galactic thin disk. Individual abundances are based on high spectral resolution (R similar to 38 000) and high signal-to-noise ratio (S/N similar to 50-300) spectra collected with UVES at ESO VLT for the DIONYSOS project. Taking into account similar Cepheid abundances provided by our group (111 stars) and available in the literature, we end up with a sample of 435 Cepheids covering a broad range in iron abundances (-1.6 < [Fe/H] < 0.6). We found, via homogeneous individual distances and abundance scales, well-defined gradients for the above elements. However, the slope of the light s-process element (Y) is at least a factor of two steeper than the slopes of heavy s- (La, Ce, Nd) and r- (Eu) process elements. The s-to-r abundance ratio ([La/Eu]) of Cepheids shows a well-defined anticorrelation with both Eu and Fe. On the other hand, Galactic field stars attain an almost constant value and display a mild enhancement in La only when they approach solar iron abundance. The [Y/Eu] ratio shows slight evidence of a correlation with Eu and, in particular, with iron abundance for field Galactic stars. We also investigated the s-process index ([hs/ls]) and we found a well-defined anticorrelation, as expected, between [La/Y] and iron abundance. Moreover, we found a strong correlation between [La/Y] and [La/Fe] and, in particular, a clear separation between Galactic and Sagittarius red giants. Finally, the comparison between predictions for low-mass asymptotic giant branch stars and the observed [La/Y] ratio indicate a very good agreement over the entire metallicity range covered by Cepheids. However, the observed spread at fixed iron content is larger than predicted by current models.