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  1. 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.more »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.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 3, 2022
  2. 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 selectivelymore »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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  3. 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 lowmore »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.« less