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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. Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  3. null (Ed.)
  4. 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,more »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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  5. null (Ed.)
    Abstract Proportional electroluminescence (EL) in noble gases is used in two-phase detectors for dark matter searches to record (in the gas phase) the ionization signal induced by particle scattering in the liquid phase. The “standard” EL mechanism is considered to be due to noble gas excimer emission in the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV). In addition, there are two alternative mechanisms, producing light in the visible and near infrared (NIR) ranges. The first is due to bremsstrahlung of electrons scattered on neutral atoms (“neutral bremsstrahlung”, NBrS). The second, responsible for electron avalanche scintillation in the NIR at higher electric fields, is duemore »to transitions between excited atomic states. In this work, we have for the first time demonstrated two alternative techniques of the optical readout of two-phase argon detectors, in the visible and NIR range, using a silicon photomultiplier matrix and electroluminescence due to either neutral bremsstrahlung or avalanche scintillation. The amplitude yield and position resolution were measured for these readout techniques, which allowed to assess the detection threshold for electron and nuclear recoils in two-phase argon detectors for dark matter searches. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first practical application of the NBrS effect in detection science.« less