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  1. 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 bymore »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.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 10, 2023
  2. Abstract A double-phase argon Time Projection Chamber (TPC), with an active mass of 185 g, has been designed and constructed for the Recoil Directionality (ReD) experiment. The aim of the ReD project is to investigate the directional sensitivity of argon-based TPCs via columnar recombination to nuclear recoils in the energy range of interest (20– $$200\,\hbox {keV}_{nr}$$ 200 keV nr ) for direct dark matter searches. The key novel feature of the ReD TPC is a readout system based on cryogenic Silicon Photomultipliers (SiPMs), which are employed and operated continuously for the first time in an argon TPC. Over the course ofmore »6 months, the ReD TPC was commissioned and characterised under various operating conditions using $$\gamma $$ γ -ray and neutron sources, demonstrating remarkable stability of the optical sensors and reproducibility of the results. The scintillation gain and ionisation amplification of the TPC were measured to be $$g_1 = (0.194 \pm 0.013)$$ g 1 = ( 0.194 ± 0.013 ) photoelectrons/photon and $$g_2 = (20.0 \pm 0.9)$$ g 2 = ( 20.0 ± 0.9 ) photoelectrons/electron, respectively. The ratio of the ionisation to scintillation signals (S2/S1), instrumental for the positive identification of a candidate directional signal induced by WIMPs, has been investigated for both nuclear and electron recoils. At a drift field of 183 V/cm, an S2/S1 dispersion of 12% was measured for nuclear recoils of approximately 60– $$90\,\hbox {keV}_{nr}$$ 90 keV nr , as compared to 18% for electron recoils depositing 60 keV of energy. The detector performance reported here meets the requirements needed to achieve the principal scientific goals of the ReD experiment in the search for a directional effect due to columnar recombination. A phenomenological parameterisation of the recombination probability in LAr is presented and employed for modeling the dependence of scintillation quenching and charge yield on the drift field for electron recoils between 50–500 keV and fields up to 1000 V/cm.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2022
  3. 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 energymore »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.

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  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2022
  5. Finding unambiguous evidence of dark matter interactions in a particle detector is a main objective of physics research. The liquid argon time projection chamber technique for the detection of Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMP) allows sensitivities down to the so-called neutrino floor for high and low WIMP masses. Based on the successful operation of the DarkSide-50 detector, a new and more sensitive experiment, DarkSide-20k, was designed and is now under construction. A thorough understanding of the DarkSide-50 detector response to events classified as dark matter as well as all other interactions is essential for an optimal design of the newmore »experiment. In this paper, we report on a particular set of events, for which scintillation-ionization signals are observed in association with signals from single or few isolated electrons. We identified and provided an interpretation for two event types in which electrons are produced via photoelectric effect on the cathode electrode and in the bulk liquid. Events with photoelectric emissions are observed in association with most interactions with large energy depositions in the detector. From the measured rate of these events, we determine the photo-ionization probability, or photoelectric quantum efficiency, of tetraphenyl butadiene (TPB) at wavelengths around 128 nm.« less
  6. DarkSide-50 has demonstrated the high potential of dual-phase liquid argon time projection chambers in exploring interactions of WIMPs in the GeV/c2 mass range. The technique, based on the detection of the ionization signal amplified via electroluminescence in the gas phase, allows to explore recoil energies down to the sub-keV range. We report here on the DarkSide-50 measurement of the ionization yield of electronic recoils down to about 180 eVer, exploiting 37Ar and 39Ar decays, and extrapolated to a few ionization electrons with the Thomas-Imel box model. Moreover, we present the determination of the ionization response to nuclear recoils down tomore »∼ 500 eVnr , the lowest ever achieved in liquid argon, using in situ neutron calibration sources and external datasets from neutron beam experiments.« less
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  8. 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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