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Title: $$\alpha $$-event characterization and rejection in point-contact HPGe detectors
Abstract P-type point contact (PPC) HPGe detectors are a leading technology for rare event searches due to their excellent energy resolution, low thresholds, and multi-site event rejection capabilities. We have characterized a PPC detector’s response to $$\alpha $$ α particles incident on the sensitive passivated and p $$^+$$ + surfaces, a previously poorly-understood source of background. The detector studied is identical to those in the Majorana Demonstrator experiment, a search for neutrinoless double-beta decay ( $$0\nu \beta \beta $$ 0 ν β β ) in $$^{76}$$ 76 Ge. $$\alpha $$ α decays on most of the passivated surface exhibit significant energy loss due to charge trapping, with waveforms exhibiting a delayed charge recovery (DCR) signature caused by the slow collection of a fraction of the trapped charge. The DCR is found to be complementary to existing methods of $$\alpha $$ α identification, reliably identifying $$\alpha $$ α background events on the passivated surface of the detector. We demonstrate effective rejection of all surface $$\alpha $$ α events (to within statistical uncertainty) with a loss of only 0.2% of bulk events by combining the DCR discriminator with previously-used methods. The DCR discriminator has been used to reduce the background rate in the $$0\nu \beta \beta $$ 0 ν β β region of interest window by an order of magnitude in the Majorana Demonstrator   and will be used in the upcoming LEGEND-200 experiment.  more » « less
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Date Published:
Journal Name:
The European Physical Journal C
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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