Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : Large-scale calculations of the E1 strength are performed within the random phase approximation (RPA) based on the relativistic point-coupling mean field approach in order to derive the radiative neutron capture cross sections for all nuclei of astrophysical interest. While the coupling to the single-particle continuum is taken into account in an explicit and self-consistent way, additional corrections like the coupling to complex configurations and the temperature and deformation effects are included in a phenomenological way to account for a complete description of the nuclear dynamical problem. It is shown that the resulting E1-strength function based on the PCF1 force is in close agreement with photoabsorption data as well as the available experimental E1 strength data at low energies. For neutron-rich nuclei, as well as light neutron-deficient nuclei, a low-lying so-called pygmy resonance is found systematically in the 5-10 MeV region. The corresponding strength can reach 10% of the giant dipole strength in the neutron-rich region and about 5% in the neutron-deficient region, and is found to be reduced in the vicinity of the shell closures. Finally, the neutron capture reaction rates of neutron-rich nuclei is found to be about 2-5 times larger than those predicted on the basis of the nonrelativistic RPA calculation and about a factor 50 larger than obtained with traditional Lorentzian-type approaches. © 2012 American Physical Society.