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  1. Abstract In the search for a monochromatic peak as the signature of neutrinoless double beta decay an excellent energy resolution and an ultra-low background around the Q -value of the decay are essential. The LEGEND-200 experiment performs such a search with high-purity germanium detectors enriched in 76 Ge immersed in liquid argon. To determine and monitor the stability of the energy scale and resolution of the germanium diodes, custom-made, low-neutron emission 228 Th sources are regularly deployed in the vicinity of the crystals. Here we describe the production process of the 17 sources available for installation in the experiment, the measurements of their alpha- and gamma- activities, as well as the determination of the neutron emission rates with a low-background LiI(Eu) detector operated deep underground. With a flux of ( 4.27 ± 0.60 stat ± 0.92 syst ) × 10 -4  n / (kBq·s), approximately one order of magnitude below that of commercial sources, the neutron-induced background rate, mainly from the activation of 76 Ge, is negligible compared to other background sources in LEGEND-200. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2024
  2. Abstract Detectors based on liquid argon (LAr) often require surfaces that can shift vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) light and reflect the visible shifted light. For the LAr instrumentation of the LEGEND-200 neutrinoless double beta decay experiment, several square meters of wavelength-shifting reflectors (WLSR) were prepared: the reflector Tetratex® (TTX) was in-situ evaporated with the wavelength shifter tetraphenyl butadiene (TPB). For even larger detectors, TPB evaporation will be more challenging and plastic films of polyethylene naphthalate (PEN) are considered as an option to ease scalability. In this work, we first characterized the absorption (and reflectivity) of PEN, TPB (and TTX) films in response to visible light. We then measured TPB and PEN coupled to TTX in a LAr setup equipped with a VUV sensitive photomultiplier tube. The effective VUV photon yield in the setup was first measured using an absorbing reference sample, and the VUV reflectivity of TTX quantified. The characterization and simulation of the setup along with the measurements and modelling of the optical parameters of TPB, PEN and TTX allowed to estimate the absolute quantum efficiency (QE) of TPB and PEN in LAr (at 87K) for the first time: these were found to be above 67 and 49%, respectively (at 90% CL). These results provide relevant input for the optical simulations of experiments that use TPB in LAr, such as LEGEND-200, and for experiments that plan to use TPB or PEN to shift VUV scintillation light. 
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  3. Abstract The XENONnT detector uses the latest and largest liquid xenon-based time projection chamber (TPC) operated by the XENON Collaboration, aimed at detecting Weakly Interacting Massive Particles and conducting other rare event searches.The XENONnT data acquisition (DAQ) system constitutes an upgraded and expanded version of the XENON1T DAQ system.For its operation, it relies predominantly on commercially available hardware accompanied by open-source and custom-developed software.The three constituent subsystems of the XENONnT detector, the TPC (main detector), muon veto, and the newly introduced neutron veto, are integrated into a single DAQ, and can be operated both independently and as a unified system.In total, the DAQ digitizes the signals of 698 photomultiplier tubes (PMTs), of which 253 from the top PMT array of the TPC are digitized twice, at ×10 and ×0.5 gain.The DAQ for the most part is a triggerless system, reading out and storing every signal that exceeds the digitization thresholds.Custom-developed software is used to process the acquired data, making it available within ∼30 s for live data quality monitoring and online analyses.The entire system with all the three subsystems was successfully commissioned and has been operating continuously, comfortably withstanding readout rates that exceed ∼500 MB/s during calibration.Livetime during normal operation exceeds 99% and is ∼90% during most high-rate calibrations.The combined DAQ system has collected more than 2 PB of both calibration and science data during the commissioning of XENONnT and the first science run. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
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  7. Abstract A low-energy electronic recoil calibration of XENON1T, a dual-phase xenon time projection chamber, with an internal $${}^{37}$$ 37 Ar source was performed. This calibration source features a 35-day half-life and provides two mono-energetic lines at 2.82 keV and 0.27 keV. The photon yield and electron yield at 2.82 keV are measured to be ( $$32.3\,\pm \,0.3$$ 32.3 ± 0.3 ) photons/keV and ( $$40.6\,\pm \,0.5$$ 40.6 ± 0.5 ) electrons/keV, respectively, in agreement with other measurements and with NEST predictions. The electron yield at 0.27 keV is also measured and it is ( $$68.0^{+6.3}_{-3.7}$$ 68 . 0 - 3.7 + 6.3 ) electrons/keV. The $${}^{37}$$ 37 Ar calibration confirms that the detector is well-understood in the energy region close to the detection threshold, with the 2.82 keV line reconstructed at ( $$2.83\,\pm \,0.02$$ 2.83 ± 0.02 ) keV, which further validates the model used to interpret the low-energy electronic recoil excess previously reported by XENON1T. The ability to efficiently remove argon with cryogenic distillation after the calibration proves that $${}^{37}$$ 37 Ar can be considered as a regular calibration source for multi-tonne xenon detectors. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024
  8. Abstract Understanding propagation of scintillation light is critical for maximizing the discovery potential of next-generation liquid xenon detectors that use dual-phase time projection chamber technology. This work describes a detailed optical simulation of the DARWIN detector implemented using Chroma, a GPU-based photon tracking framework. To evaluate the framework and to explore ways of maximizing efficiency and minimizing the time of light collection, we simulate several variations of the conventional detector design. Results of these selected studies are presented. More generally, we conclude that the approach used in this work allows one to investigate alternative designs faster and in more detail than using conventional Geant4 optical simulations, making it an attractive tool to guide the development of the ultimate liquid xenon observatory. 
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  9. Abstract The XENON collaboration has published stringent limits on specific dark matter – nucleon recoil spectra from dark matter recoiling on the liquid xenon detector target. In this paper, we present an approximate likelihood for the XENON1T 1 t-year nuclear recoil search applicable to any nuclear recoil spectrum. Alongside this paper, we publish data and code to compute upper limits using the method we present. The approximate likelihood is constructed in bins of reconstructed energy, profiled along the signal expectation in each bin. This approach can be used to compute an approximate likelihood and therefore most statistical results for any nuclear recoil spectrum. Computing approximate results with this method is approximately three orders of magnitude faster than the likelihood used in the original publications of XENON1T, where limits were set for specific families of recoil spectra. Using this same method, we include toy Monte Carlo simulation-derived binwise likelihoods for the upcoming XENONnT experiment that can similarly be used to assess the sensitivity to arbitrary nuclear recoil signatures in its eventual 20 t-year exposure. 
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