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  1. Abstract

    We present here a characterization of the low background NaI(Tl) crystal NaI-33 based on a period of almost one year of data taking (891 kg$$\times $$×days exposure) in a detector configuration with no use of organic scintillator veto. This remarkably radio-pure crystal already showed a low background in the SABRE Proof-of-Principle (PoP) detector, in the low energy region of interest (1–6 keV) for the search of dark matter interaction via the annual modulation signature. As the vetoable background components, such as$$^{40}$$40K, are here sub-dominant, we reassembled the PoP setup with a fully passive shielding. We upgraded the selection of events based on a Boosted Decision Tree algorithm that rejects most of the PMT-induced noise while retaining scintillation signals with > 90% efficiency in 1–6 keV. We find an average background of 1.39 ± 0.02 counts/day/kg/keV in the region of interest and a spectrum consistent with data previously acquired in the PoP setup, where the external veto background suppression was in place. Our background model indicates that the dominant background component is due to decays of$$^{210}$$210Pb, only partly residing in the crystal itself. The other location of$$^{210}$$210Pb is the reflector foil that wraps the crystal. We now proceed to designmore »the experimental setup for the physics phase of the SABRE North detector, based on an array of similar crystals, using a low radioactivity PTFE reflector and further improving the passive shielding strategy, in compliance with the new safety and environmental requirements of Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso.

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  2. The dark matter interpretation of the DAMA/LIBRA annual modulation signal represents a long-standing open question in astroparticle physics. The SABRE experiment aims to test such claim, bringing the same detection technique to an unprecedented sensitivity. Based on ultra-low background NaI(Tl) scintillating crystals like DAMA, SABRE features a liquid scintillator Veto system, surrounding the main target, and it will deploy twin detectors: one in the Northern hemisphere at Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (LNGS), Italy and the other in the Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory (SUPL), Australia, first laboratory of this kind in the Southern hemisphere. The first very-high-purity crystal produced by the collaboration was shipped to LNGS in 2019 for characterization. It features a potassium contamination, measured by mass spectroscopy, of the order of 4 ppb, about three times lower than DAMA/LIBRA crystals. The first phase of the SABRE experiment is a Proof-of-Principle (PoP) detector featuring one crystal and a liquid scintillator Veto, at LNGS. This contribution will present the results of the stand-alone characterization of the first SABRE high-purity crystal, as well as the status of the PoP detector, commissioned early in the summer of 2020.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 10, 2023
  3. Abstract

    The Cryogenic Underground Observatory for Rare Events (CUORE) is the first cryogenic experiment searching for$$0\nu \beta \beta $$0νββdecay that has been able to reach the one-tonne mass scale. The detector, located at the Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (LNGS) in Italy, consists of an array of 988$${\mathrm{TeO}}_{2}$$TeO2crystals arranged in a compact cylindrical structure of 19 towers. CUORE began its first physics data run in 2017 at a base temperature of about 10 mK and in April 2021 released its$$3{\mathrm{rd}}$$3rdresult of the search for$$0\nu \beta \beta $$0νββ, corresponding to a tonne-year of$$\mathrm{TeO}_{2}$$TeO2exposure. This is the largest amount of data ever acquired with a solid state detector and the most sensitive measurement of$$0\nu \beta \beta $$0νββdecay in$${}^{130}\mathrm{Te}$$130Teever conducted . We present the current status of CUORE search for$$0\nu \beta \beta $$0νββwith the updated statistics of one tonne-yr. We finally give an update of the CUORE background model and the measurement of the$${}^{130}\mathrm{Te}$$130Te$$2\nu \beta \beta $$2νββdecay half-life and decay to excited states of$${}^{130}\mathrm{Xe}$$130Xe, studies performed using an exposure of 300.7 kg yr.

  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 possibility that neutrinos may be their own antiparticles, unique among the known fundamental particles, arises from the symmetric theory of fermions proposed by Ettore Majorana in 1937 1 . Given the profound consequences of such Majorana neutrinos, among which is a potential explanation for the matter–antimatter asymmetry of the universe via leptogenesis 2 , the Majorana nature of neutrinos commands intense experimental scrutiny globally; one of the primary experimental probes is neutrinoless double beta (0 νββ ) decay. Here we show results from the search for 0 νββ decay of 130 Te, using the latest advanced cryogenic calorimeters with the CUORE experiment 3 . CUORE, operating just 10 millikelvin above absolute zero, has pushed the state of the art on three frontiers: the sheer mass held at such ultralow temperatures, operational longevity, and the low levels of ionizing radiation emanating from the cryogenic infrastructure. We find no evidence for 0 νββ decay and set a lower bound of the process half-life as 2.2 × 10 25  years at a 90 per cent credibility interval. We discuss potential applications of the advances made with CUORE to other fields such as direct dark matter, neutrino and nuclear physics searches and large-scale quantum computing, which canmore »benefit from sustained operation of large payloads in a low-radioactivity, ultralow-temperature cryogenic environment.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 7, 2023
  6. Abstract SABRE is a dark matter direct detection experiment aiming to measure the annual modulation of the dark matter interaction rate in NaI(Tl) crystals. SABRE focuses on the achievement of an ultra-low background rate operating high-purity NaI(Tl) crystals in a liquid scintillator veto for active background rejection. Moreover, twin experiments will be located in both Northern and Southern hemispheres (Italy and Australia) to disentangle any possible contribution from seasonal or site-related effects. In this article the results of the first measurements with a NaI(Tl) crystal for the SABRE experiment performed at LNGS are presented.
  7. Abstract SABRE is a dark matter direct detection experiment based on NaI(Tl) scintillating crystals. The primary goal of the experiment is to test the dark matter interpretation of the DAMA/LIBRA annual modulation signal. To reach its purpose, SABRE will operate an array of ultra-low background NaI(Tl) crystals within an active veto, based on liquid scintillator. Finally two twin detectors will be used, one in the northern hemisphere at Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso, Italy (LNGS) and the other, first of its kind, in the southern hemisphere, in the Stawell Underground Physic Laboratory (SUPL). The collaboration has successfully developed a NaI(Tl) crystal with the impressive potassium content of about 4 ppb, according to the mass spectroscopy measurements. A value that, if confirmed, would be about 3 times lower than the DAMA/LIBRA crystals one. The first phase of the SABRE experiment, called SABRE Proof of Principle (PoP), aims to prove the achieved radiopurity by direct measurement of crystals at LNGS. This work reports the status of the PoP setup and the recent progresses on the development of low radioactivity NaI(Tl) crystals.
  8. Abstract The CUORE experiment is a large bolometric array searching for the lepton number violating neutrino-less double beta decay ( $$0\nu \beta \beta $$ 0 ν β β ) in the isotope $$\mathrm {^{130}Te}$$ 130 Te . In this work we present the latest results on two searches for the double beta decay (DBD) of $$\mathrm {^{130}Te}$$ 130 Te to the first $$0^{+}_2$$ 0 2 + excited state of $$\mathrm {^{130}Xe}$$ 130 Xe : the $$0\nu \beta \beta $$ 0 ν β β decay and the Standard Model-allowed two-neutrinos double beta decay ( $$2\nu \beta \beta $$ 2 ν β β ). Both searches are based on a 372.5 kg $$\times $$ × yr TeO $$_2$$ 2 exposure. The de-excitation gamma rays emitted by the excited Xe nucleus in the final state yield a unique signature, which can be searched for with low background by studying coincident events in two or more bolometers. The closely packed arrangement of the CUORE crystals constitutes a significant advantage in this regard. The median limit setting sensitivities at 90% Credible Interval (C.I.) of the given searches were estimated as $$\mathrm {S^{0\nu }_{1/2} = 5.6 \times 10^{24} \, \mathrm {yr}}$$ S 1 / 2 0more »ν = 5.6 × 10 24 yr for the $${0\nu \beta \beta }$$ 0 ν β β decay and $$\mathrm {S^{2\nu }_{1/2} = 2.1 \times 10^{24} \, \mathrm {yr}}$$ S 1 / 2 2 ν = 2.1 × 10 24 yr for the $${2\nu \beta \beta }$$ 2 ν β β decay. No significant evidence for either of the decay modes was observed and a Bayesian lower bound at $$90\%$$ 90 % C.I. on the decay half lives is obtained as: $$\mathrm {(T_{1/2})^{0\nu }_{0^+_2} > 5.9 \times 10^{24} \, \mathrm {yr}}$$ ( T 1 / 2 ) 0 2 + 0 ν > 5.9 × 10 24 yr for the $$0\nu \beta \beta $$ 0 ν β β mode and $$\mathrm {(T_{1/2})^{2\nu }_{0^+_2} > 1.3 \times 10^{24} \, \mathrm {yr}}$$ ( T 1 / 2 ) 0 2 + 2 ν > 1.3 × 10 24 yr for the $$2\nu \beta \beta $$ 2 ν β β mode. These represent the most stringent limits on the DBD of $$^{130}$$ 130 Te to excited states and improve by a factor $$\sim 5$$ ∼ 5 the previous results on this process.« less
  9. The SABRE (Sodium-iodide with Active Background REjection) experiment is a new detector based on NaI(Tl) scintillating crystals for the dark matter detection through the annual modulation. With ultra-pure crystals and an active veto system, based on liquid scintillator surrounding the crystal array, SABRE will reach unprecedented low background and the highest sensitivity among the present NaI(Tl) experiments. Moreover SABRE will be the first dark matter search with twin detectors located in the North and South hemispheres, in Gran Sasso National Laboratories (LNGS), Italy, and Stawell Underground Laboratories (SUPL), Australia, respectively. The double location will help to quantify possible seasonal effects, and is a unique feature to identify a modulation of dark matter origins. SABRE is presently in the Proof-of-Principle (PoP) phase, with the goal to measure the crystal intrinsic and cosmogenic backgrounds of one 5 kg crystal and the active veto efficiency. We have performed a full geometry Monte Carlo simulation in order to evaluate the background contributions in the two distinct operation modes foreseen for the PoP: the potassium Measurement Mode (KMM) and the Dark Matter Measurement Mode (DMM), where the liquid scintillator detector is used in coincidence or anti-coincidence with the crystal, respectively. This paper presents the resultsmore »of a detailed background simulation and the expected sensitivity for the SABRE full scale experiment.« less