SiPM-matrix readout of two-phase argon detectors using electroluminescence in the visible and near infrared range
Abstract: Proportional electroluminescence (EL) in noble gases is used in two-phase detectors for dark matter searches to record (in the gas phase) the ionization signal induced by particle scattering in the liquid phase. The “standard” EL mechanism is considered to be due to noble gas excimer emission in the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV). In addition, there are two alternative mechanisms, producing light in the vis- ible and near infrared (NIR) ranges. The first is due to bremsstrahlung of electrons scattered on neutral atoms (“neu- tral bremsstrahlung”, NBrS). The second, responsible for electron avalanche scintillation in the NIR at higher electric fields, is due to transitions between excited atomic states. In this work, we have for the first time demonstrated two alternative techniques of the optical readout of two-phase argon detectors, in the visible and NIR range, using a sili- con photomultiplier matrix and electroluminescence due to either neutral bremsstrahlung or avalanche scintillation. The amplitude yield and position resolution were measured for these readout techniques, which allowed to assess the detec- tion threshold for electron and nuclear recoils in two-phase argon detectors for dark matter searches. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first practical application of the NBrS effect more »
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Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10282470
Journal Name:
European physical journal
Volume:
81
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
153
ISSN:
1434-6052
2. Abstract A double-phase argon Time Projection Chamber (TPC), with an active mass of 185 g, has been designed and constructed for the Recoil Directionality (ReD) experiment. The aim of the ReD project is to investigate the directional sensitivity of argon-based TPCs via columnar recombination to nuclear recoils in the energy range of interest (20– $$200\,\hbox {keV}_{nr}$$ 200 keV nr ) for direct dark matter searches. The key novel feature of the ReD TPC is a readout system based on cryogenic Silicon Photomultipliers (SiPMs), which are employed and operated continuously for the first time in an argon TPC. Over the course of 6 months, the ReD TPC was commissioned and characterised under various operating conditions using $$\gamma$$ γ -ray and neutron sources, demonstrating remarkable stability of the optical sensors and reproducibility of the results. The scintillation gain and ionisation amplification of the TPC were measured to be $$g_1 = (0.194 \pm 0.013)$$ g 1 = ( 0.194 ± 0.013 ) photoelectrons/photon and $$g_2 = (20.0 \pm 0.9)$$ g 2 = ( 20.0 ± 0.9 ) photoelectrons/electron, respectively. The ratio of the ionisation to scintillation signals (S2/S1), instrumental for the positive identification of a candidate directional signal induced by WIMPs, has been investigatedmore »
Aria is a plant hosting a$${350}\,\hbox {m}$$$350\phantom{\rule{0ex}{0ex}}\text{m}$cryogenic isotopic distillation column, the tallest ever built, which is being installed in a mine shaft at Carbosulcis S.p.A., Nuraxi-Figus (SU), Italy. Aria is one of the pillars of the argon dark-matter search experimental program, lead by the Global Argon Dark Matter Collaboration. It was designed to reduce the isotopic abundance of$${^{39}\hbox {Ar}}$$${}^{39}\text{Ar}$in argon extracted from underground sources, called Underground Argon (UAr), which is used for dark-matter searches. Indeed,$${^{39}\hbox {Ar}}$$${}^{39}\text{Ar}$is a$$\beta$$$\beta$-emitter of cosmogenic origin, whose activity poses background and pile-up concerns in the detectors. In this paper, we discuss the requirements, design, construction, tests, and projected performance of the plant for the isotopic cryogenic distillation of argon. We also present the successful results of the isotopic cryogenic distillation of nitrogen with a prototype plant.
5. Abstract Xenon dual-phase time projection chambers designed to search for weakly interacting massive particles have so far shown a relative energy resolution which degrades with energy above $$\sim$$ ∼ 200 keV due to the saturation effects. This has limited their sensitivity in the search for rare events like the neutrinoless double-beta decay of $$^{136} \hbox {Xe}$$ 136 Xe at its Q value, $$Q_{\beta \beta }\simeq 2.46\,\hbox {MeV}$$ Q β β ≃ 2.46 MeV . For the XENON1T dual-phase time projection chamber, we demonstrate that the relative energy resolution at $$1\,\sigma /\mu$$ 1 σ / μ is as low as ( $$0.80 \pm 0.02$$ 0.80 ± 0.02 ) % in its one-ton fiducial mass, and for single-site interactions at $$Q_{\beta \beta }$$ Q β β . We also present a new signal correction method to rectify the saturation effects of the signal readout system, resulting in more accurate position reconstruction and indirectly improving the energy resolution. The very good result achieved in XENON1T opens up new windows for the xenon dual-phase dark matter detectors to simultaneously search for other rare events.