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  1. Abstract Liquid xenon time projection chambers are promising detectors to search for neutrinoless double beta decay (0 $$\nu \beta \beta $$ ν β β ), due to their response uniformity, monolithic sensitive volume, scalability to large target masses, and suitability for extremely low background operations. The nEXO collaboration has designed a tonne-scale time projection chamber that aims to search for 0 $$\nu \beta \beta $$ ν β β of $$^{136}$$ 136 Xe with projected half-life sensitivity of $$1.35\times 10^{28}$$ 1.35 × 10 28  yr. To reach this sensitivity, the design goal for nEXO is $$\le $$ ≤ 1% energy resolution at the decay Q -value ( $$2458.07\pm 0.31$$ 2458.07 ± 0.31  keV). Reaching this resolution requires the efficient collection of both the ionization and scintillation produced in the detector. The nEXO design employs Silicon Photo-Multipliers (SiPMs) to detect the vacuum ultra-violet, 175 nm scintillation light of liquid xenon. This paper reports on the characterization of the newest vacuum ultra-violet sensitive Fondazione Bruno Kessler VUVHD3 SiPMs specifically designed for nEXO, as well as new measurements on new test samples of previously characterised Hamamatsu VUV4 Multi Pixel Photon Counters (MPPCs). Various SiPM and MPPC parameters, such as dark noise, gain, direct crosstalk, correlated avalanches and photon detection efficiency were measured as a function of the applied over voltage and wavelength at liquid xenon temperature (163 K). The results from this study are used to provide updated estimates of the achievable energy resolution at the decay Q -value for the nEXO design. 
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  2. Abstract The DARWIN observatory is a proposed next-generation experiment to search for particle dark matter and for the neutrinoless double beta decay of $$^{136}$$ 136 Xe. Out of its 50 t total natural xenon inventory, 40 t will be the active target of a time projection chamber which thus contains about 3.6 t of $$^{136}$$ 136 Xe. Here, we show that its projected half-life sensitivity is $$2.4\times {10}^{27}\,{\hbox {year}}$$ 2.4 × 10 27 year , using a fiducial volume of 5 t of natural xenon and 10 year of operation with a background rate of less than 0.2 events/(t  $$\cdot $$ ·  year) in the energy region of interest. This sensitivity is based on a detailed Monte Carlo simulation study of the background and event topologies in the large, homogeneous target. DARWIN will be comparable in its science reach to dedicated double beta decay experiments using xenon enriched in $$^{136}$$ 136 Xe. 
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  3. 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, 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. 
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  4. Abstract

    The selection of low-radioactive construction materials is of utmost importance for the success of low-energy rare event search experiments. Besides radioactive contaminants in the bulk, the emanation of radioactive radon atoms from material surfaces attains increasing relevance in the effort to further reduce the background of such experiments. In this work, we present the$$^{222}$$222Rn emanation measurements performed for the XENON1T dark matter experiment. Together with the bulk impurity screening campaign, the results enabled us to select the radio-purest construction materials, targeting a$$^{222}$$222Rn activity concentration of$$10\,\mathrm{\,}\upmu \mathrm{Bq}/\mathrm{kg}$$10μBq/kgin$$3.2\,\mathrm{t}$$3.2tof xenon. The knowledge of the distribution of the$$^{222}$$222Rn sources allowed us to selectively eliminate problematic components in the course of the experiment. The predictions from the emanation measurements were compared to data of the$$^{222}$$222Rn activity concentration in XENON1T. The final$$^{222}$$222Rn activity concentration of$$(4.5\pm 0.1)\,\mathrm{\,}\upmu \mathrm{Bq}/\mathrm{kg}$$(4.5±0.1)μBq/kgin the target of XENON1T is the lowest ever achieved in a xenon dark matter experiment.

     
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  5. null (Ed.)
    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. 
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  6. null (Ed.)
  7. Abstract We detail the sensitivity of the proposed liquid xenon DARWIN observatory to solar neutrinos via elastic electron scattering. We find that DARWIN will have the potential to measure the fluxes of five solar neutrino components: pp , $$^7$$ 7 Be, $$^{13}$$ 13 N, $$^{15}$$ 15 O and pep . The precision of the $$^{13}$$ 13 N, $$^{15}$$ 15 O and pep components is hindered by the double-beta decay of $$^{136}$$ 136 Xe and, thus, would benefit from a depleted target. A high-statistics observation of pp neutrinos would allow us to infer the values of the electroweak mixing angle, $$\sin ^2\theta _w$$ sin 2 θ w , and the electron-type neutrino survival probability, $$P_{ee}$$ P ee , in the electron recoil energy region from a few keV up to 200 keV for the first time, with relative precision of 5% and 4%, respectively, with 10 live years of data and a 30 tonne fiducial volume. An observation of pp and $$^7$$ 7 Be neutrinos would constrain the neutrino-inferred solar luminosity down to 0.2%. A combination of all flux measurements would distinguish between the high- (GS98) and low-metallicity (AGS09) solar models with 2.1–2.5 $$\sigma $$ σ significance, independent of external measurements from other experiments or a measurement of $$^8$$ 8 B neutrinos through coherent elastic neutrino-nucleus scattering in DARWIN. Finally, we demonstrate that with a depleted target DARWIN may be sensitive to the neutrino capture process of $$^{131}$$ 131 Xe. 
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  8. Abstract

    The nature of dark matter and properties of neutrinos are among the most pressing issues in contemporary particle physics. The dual-phase xenon time-projection chamber is the leading technology to cover the available parameter space for weakly interacting massive particles, while featuring extensive sensitivity to many alternative dark matter candidates. These detectors can also study neutrinos through neutrinoless double-beta decay and through a variety of astrophysical sources. A next-generation xenon-based detector will therefore be a true multi-purpose observatory to significantly advance particle physics, nuclear physics, astrophysics, solar physics, and cosmology. This review article presents the science cases for such a detector.

     
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