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  1. Abstract Testing the DAMA/LIBRA annual modulation result independently of dark matter particle and halo models has been a challenge for twenty years. Using the same target material, NaI(Tl), is required and presently two experiments, ANAIS-112 and COSINE-100, are running for such a goal. A precise knowledge of the detector response to nuclear recoils is mandatory because this is the most likely channel to find the dark matter signal. The light produced by nuclear recoils is quenched with respect to that produced by electrons by a factor that has to be measured experimentally. However, current quenching factor measurements in NaI(Tl) crystalsmore »disagree within the energy region of interest for dark matter searches. To disentangle whether this discrepancy is due to intrinsic differences in the light response among different NaI(Tl) crystals, or has its origin in unaccounted for systematic effects will be key in the comparison among the different experiments. We present measurements of the quenching factors for five small NaI(Tl) crystals performed in the same experimental setup to control systematics. Quenching factor results are compatible between crystals and no clear dependence with energy is observed from 10 to 80 keVnr.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023
  3. Abstract We present a background model for dark matter searches using an array of NaI(Tl) crystals in the COSINE-100 experiment that is located in the Yangyang underground laboratory. The model includes background contributions from both internal and external sources, including cosmogenic radionuclides and surface $$^{210}$$ 210 Pb contamination. To build the model in the low energy region, with a threshold of 1 keV, we used a depth profile of $$^{210}$$ 210 Pb contamination in the surface of the NaI(Tl) crystals determined in a comparison between measured and simulated spectra. We also considered the effect of the energy scale errors propagated frommore »the statistical uncertainties and the nonlinear detector response at low energies. The 1.7 years COSINE-100 data taken between October 21, 2016 and July 18, 2018 were used for this analysis. Our Monte Carlo simulation provides a non-Gaussian peak around 50 keV originating from beta decays of bulk $$^{210}$$ 210 Pb in a good agreement with the measured background. This model estimates that the activities of bulk $$^{210}$$ 210 Pb and $$^{3}$$ 3 H are dominating the background rate that amounts to an average level of $$2.85\pm 0.15$$ 2.85 ± 0.15  counts/day/keV/kg in the energy region of (1–6) keV, using COSINE-100 data with a total exposure of 97.7 kg $$\cdot $$ · years.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2022
  4. Abstract

    We report the identification of metastable isomeric states of$$^{228}$$228Ac at 6.28 keV, 6.67 keV and 20.19 keV, with lifetimes of an order of 100 ns. These states are produced by the$$\beta $$β-decay of$$^{228}$$228Ra, a component of the$$^{232}$$232Th decay chain, with$$\beta $$βQ-values of 39.52 keV, 39.13 keV and 25.61 keV, respectively. Due to the low Q-value of$$^{228}$$228Ra as well as the relative abundance of$$^{232}$$232Th and their progeny in low background experiments, these observations potentially impact the low-energy background modeling of dark matter search experiments.

  5. 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 βmore »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 0 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