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The Origin of Fluorine: Abundances in AGB Carbon Stars Revisited

Abstract

Revised spectroscopic parameters for the HF molecule and a new CN line list in the 2.3 mu region have been recently available, allowing a revision of the F content in AGB stars. AGB carbon stars are the only observationally confirmed sources of fluorine. Nowadays there is not a consensus on the relevance of AGB stars in its Galactic chemical evolution. The aim of this article is to better constrain the contribution of these stars with a more accurate estimate of their fluorine abundances. Using new spectroscopic tools and LTE spectral synthesis, we redetermine fluorine abundances from several HF lines in the K-band in a sample of Galactic and extragalactic AGB carbon stars of spectral types N, J and SC spanning a wide range of metallicities. On average, the new derived fluorine abundances are systematically lower by 0.33 dex with respect to previous determinations. This may derive from a combination of the lower excitation energies of the HF lines and the larger macroturbulence parameters used here as well as from the new adopted CN line list. Yet, theoretical nucleosynthesis models in AGB stars agree with the new fluorine determinations at solar metallicities. At low metallicities, an agreement between theory and observations can be found by handling in a different way the radiative/convective interface at the base of the convective envelope. New fluorine spectroscopic measurements agree with theoretical models at low and at solar metallicity. Despite this, complementary sources are needed to explain its observed abundance in the solar neighbourhood.Comment: 9 pages, 4 figures, accepted in A&

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