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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2024
  2. SiPM-based readouts are becoming the standard for light detection in particle detectors given their superior resolution and ease of use with respect to vacuum tube photo-multipliers. However, the contributions of noise detection such as the dark rate, cross-talk, and after-pulsing (AP) may significantly impact their performance. In this work, we present the development of highly reflective single-phase argon chambers capable of displaying light yields up to 32 photo-electrons per keV, with approximately 12 being primary photo-electrons generated by the argon scintillation, while the rest are accounted by optical cross-talk. Furthermore, the presence of compound processes results in a generalized Fano factor larger than 2 already at an over-voltage of 5 V. Finally, we present a parametrization of the optical cross-talk for the FBK NUV-HD-Cryo SiPMs at 87 K that can be extended to future detectors with tailored optical simulations. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 16, 2024
  3. Abstract In this work we will document the design and the performances of a SiPM-based photo-detector with a surface area of 100 cm 2 conceived to operate as a replacement for PMTs. The signals from 94 SiPMs are summed up to produce an aggregated output that exhibits in liquid nitrogen a dark count rate (DCR) lower than 100 cps over the entire surface, a signal to noise ratio better than 13, and a timing resolution better than 5.5 ns. The module feeds about 360 mW at 5 V with a dynamic range in excess of 500 photo-electrons on a 100 Ω differential line. The unit can also operate at room temperature, at the cost of an increase of DCR to 10 8 cps. 
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  4. Abstract A large number of particle detectors employ liquid argon as their target material owing to its high scintillation yield and its ability to drift ionization charge over large distances. Scintillation light from argon is peaked at 128 nm and a wavelength shifter is required for its efficient detection. In this work, we directly compare the light yield achieved in two identical liquid argon chambers, one of which is equipped with polyethylene naphthalate (PEN) and the other with tetraphenyl butadiene (TPB) wavelength shifter. Both chambers are lined with enhanced specular reflectors and instrumented with SiPMs with a coverage fraction of approximately 1%, which represents a geometry comparable to the future large scale detectors. We measured the light yield of the PEN chamber to be  39.4 $$\,\pm \,$$ ± 0.4(stat) $$\,\pm \,$$ ± 1.9(syst)% of the yield of the TPB chamber. Using a Monte Carlo simulation this result is used to extract the wavelength shifting efficiency of PEN relative to TPB equal to 47.2 $$\,\pm \,$$ ± 5.7%. This result paves the way for the use of easily available PEN foils as a wavelength shifter, which can substantially simplify the construction of future liquid argon detectors. 
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  5. Abstract

    The direct search for dark matter in the form of weakly interacting massive particles (WIMP) is performed by detecting nuclear recoils produced in a target material from the WIMP elastic scattering. The experimental identification of the direction of the WIMP-induced nuclear recoils is a crucial asset in this field, as it enables unmistakable modulation signatures for dark matter. The Recoil Directionality (ReD) experiment was designed to probe for such directional sensitivity in argon dual-phase time projection chambers (TPC), that are widely considered for current and future direct dark matter searches. The TPC of ReD was irradiated with neutrons at the INFN Laboratori Nazionali del Sud. Data were taken with nuclear recoils of known directions and kinetic energy of 72 keV, which is within the range of interest for WIMP-induced signals in argon. The direction-dependent liquid argon charge recombination model by Cataudella et al. was adopted and a likelihood statistical analysis was performed, which gave no indications of significant dependence of the detector response to the recoil direction. The aspect ratioRof the initial ionization cloud is$$R < 1.072$$R<1.072with 90 % confidence level.

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  6. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2024
  7. Abstract The Aria cryogenic distillation plant, located in Sardinia, Italy, is a key component of the DarkSide-20k experimental program for WIMP dark matter searches at the INFN Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso, Italy. Aria is designed to purify the argon, extracted from underground wells in Colorado, USA, and used as the DarkSide-20k target material, to detector-grade quality. In this paper, we report the first measurement of argon isotopic separation by distillation with the 26 m tall Aria prototype. We discuss the measurement of the operating parameters of the column and the observation of the simultaneous separation of the three stable argon isotopes: $${}^{36}\hbox {Ar}$$ 36 Ar , $${}^{38}\textrm{Ar}$$ 38 Ar , and $${}^{40}\textrm{Ar}$$ 40 Ar . We also provide a detailed comparison of the experimental results with commercial process simulation software. This measurement of isotopic separation of argon is a significant achievement for the project, building on the success of the initial demonstration of isotopic separation of nitrogen using the same equipment in 2019. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2024
  8. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024
  9. null (Ed.)
  10. Abstract

    Aria is a plant hosting a$${350}\,\hbox {m}$$350mcryogenic isotopic distillation column, the tallest ever built, which is being installed in a mine shaft at Carbosulcis S.p.A., Nuraxi-Figus (SU), Italy. Aria is one of the pillars of the argon dark-matter search experimental program, lead by the Global Argon Dark Matter Collaboration. It was designed to reduce the isotopic abundance of$${^{39}\hbox {Ar}}$$39Arin argon extracted from underground sources, called Underground Argon (UAr), which is used for dark-matter searches. Indeed,$${^{39}\hbox {Ar}}$$39Aris a$$\beta $$β-emitter of cosmogenic origin, whose activity poses background and pile-up concerns in the detectors. In this paper, we discuss the requirements, design, construction, tests, and projected performance of the plant for the isotopic cryogenic distillation of argon. We also present the successful results of the isotopic cryogenic distillation of nitrogen with a prototype plant.

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