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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
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  4. Abstract

    Ultra-pure NaI(Tl) crystals are the key element for a model-independent verification of the long standing DAMA result and a powerful means to search for the annual modulation signature of dark matter interactions. The SABRE collaboration has been developing cutting-edge techniques for the reduction of intrinsic backgrounds over several years. In this paper we report the first characterization of a 3.4 kg crystal, named NaI-33, performed in an underground passive shielding setup at LNGS. NaI-33 has a record low$$^{39}$$39K contamination of 4.3 ± 0.2 ppb as determined by mass spectrometry. We measured a light yield of 11.1 ± 0.2 photoelectrons/keV and an energy resolution of 13.2% (FWHM/E) at 59.5 keV. We evaluated the activities of$$^{226}$$226Ra and$$^{228}$$228Th inside the crystal to be$$5.9\pm 0.6~\upmu $$5.9±0.6μBq/kg and$$1.6\pm 0.3~\upmu $$1.6±0.3μBq/kg, respectively, which would indicate a contamination from$$^{238}$$238U and$$^{232}$$232Th at part-per-trillion level. We measured an activity of 0.51 ± 0.02 mBq/kg due to$$^{210}$$210Pb out of equilibrium and a$$\alpha $$αquenching factor of 0.63 ± 0.01 at 5304 keV. We illustrate the analyses techniques developed to reject electronic noise in the lower part of the energy spectrum. A cut-based strategy and a multivariate approach indicated a rate, attributed to the intrinsic radioactivity of the crystal, of$$\sim $$1 count/day/kg/keV in the [5–20] keV region.

  5. Abstract The nEXO neutrinoless double beta (0 νββ ) decay experiment is designed to use a time projection chamber and 5000 kg of isotopically enriched liquid xenon to search for the decay in 136 Xe. Progress in the detector design, paired with higher fidelity in its simulation and an advanced data analysis, based on the one used for the final results of EXO-200, produce a sensitivity prediction that exceeds the half-life of 10 28 years. Specifically, improvements have been made in the understanding of production of scintillation photons and charge as well as of their transport and reconstruction in the detector. The more detailed knowledge of the detector construction has been paired with more assays for trace radioactivity in different materials. In particular, the use of custom electroformed copper is now incorporated in the design, leading to a substantial reduction in backgrounds from the intrinsic radioactivity of detector materials. Furthermore, a number of assumptions from previous sensitivity projections have gained further support from interim work validating the nEXO experiment concept. Together these improvements and updates suggest that the nEXO experiment will reach a half-life sensitivity of 1.35 × 10 28 yr at 90% confidence level in 10 years of data taking,more »covering the parameter space associated with the inverted neutrino mass ordering, along with a significant portion of the parameter space for the normal ordering scenario, for almost all nuclear matrix elements. The effects of backgrounds deviating from the nominal values used for the projections are also illustrated, concluding that the nEXO design is robust against a number of imperfections of the model.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 3, 2022