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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2024
  2. Abstract The detection of low-energy deposition in the range of sub-eV through ionization using germanium (Ge) with a bandgap of $$\sim $$ ∼ 0.7 eV requires internal amplification of the charge signal. This can be achieved through high electric field that accelerates charge carriers, which can then generate more charge carriers. The minimum electric field required to generate internal charge amplification is derived for different temperatures. We report the development of a planar point contact Ge detector in terms of its fabrication and the measurements of its leakage current and capacitance as a function of applied bias voltage. With the determination of the measured depletion voltage, the field distribution is calculated using GeFiCa, which predicts that the required electric field for internal charge amplification can be achieved in proximity to the point contact. The energy response to an Am-241 source is characterized and discussed. We conclude that such a detector with internal charge amplification can be used to search for low-mass dark matter. 
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  3. null (Ed.)
    Short-term exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution is linked to numerous adverse health effects. Pollution episodes, such as wildfires, can lead to substantial increases in PM2.5 levels. However, sparse regulatory measurements provide an incomplete understanding of pollution gradients. Here, we demonstrate an infrastructure that integrates community-based measurements from a network of low-cost PM2.5 sensors with rigorous calibration and a Gaussian process model to understand neighborhood-scale PM2.5 concentrations during three pollution episodes (July 4, 2018, fireworks; July 5 and 6, 2018, wildfire; Jan 3−7, 2019, persistent cold air pool, PCAP). The firework/wildfire events included 118 sensors in 84 locations, while the PCAP event included 218 sensors in 138 locations. The model results accurately predict reference measurements during the fireworks (n: 16, hourly root-mean-square error, RMSE, 12.3−21.5 μg/m3, n(normalized)-RMSE: 9−24%), the wildfire (n: 46, RMSE: 2.6−4.0 μg/m3; nRMSE: 13.1−22.9%), and the PCAP (n: 96, RMSE: 4.9−5.7 μg/m3; nRMSE: 20.2−21.3%). They also revealed dramatic geospatial differences in PM2.5 concentrations that are not apparent when only considering government measurements or viewing the US Environmental Protection Agency’s AirNow’s visualizations. Complementing the PM2.5 estimates and visualizations are highly resolved uncertainty maps. Together, these results illustrate the potential for low-cost sensor networks that combined with a data-fusion algorithm and appropriate calibration and training can dynamically and with improved accuracy estimate PM2.5 concentrations during pollution episodes. These highly resolved uncertainty estimates can provide a much-needed strategy to communicate uncertainty to end users. 
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  4. null (Ed.)
    Abstract For the first time, electrical conduction mechanisms in the disordered material system is experimentally studied for p-type amorphous germanium (a-Ge) used for high-purity Ge detector contacts. The localization length and the hopping parameters in a-Ge are determined using the surface leakage current measured from three high-purity planar Ge detectors. The temperature dependent hopping distance and hopping energy are obtained for a-Ge fabricated as the electrical contact materials for high-purity Ge planar detectors. As a result, we find that the hopping energy in a-Ge increases as temperature increases while the hopping distance in a-Ge decreases as temperature increases. The localization length of a-Ge is on the order of $$2.13^{-0.05}_{+0.07}\mathrm{{A}}^\circ $$ 2 . 13 + 0.07 - 0.05 A ∘ to $$5.07^{-0.83}_{+2.58}\mathrm{{A}}^\circ $$ 5 . 07 + 2.58 - 0.83 A ∘ , depending on the density of states near the Fermi energy level within bandgap. Using these parameters, we predict that the surface leakage current from a Ge detector with a-Ge contacts can be much smaller than one yocto amp (yA) at helium temperature, suitable for rare-event physics searches. 
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  5. Mode switching allows applications to support a wide range of operations (e.g. selection, manipulation, and navigation) using a limited input space. While the performance of different mode switching techniques has been extensively examined for pen- and touch-based interfaces, investigating mode switching in augmented reality (AR) is still relatively new. Prior work found that using non-preferred hand is an efficient mode switching technique in AR. However, it is unclear how the technique performs when increasing the number of modes, which is more indicative of real-world applications. Therefore, we examined the scalability of non-preferred hand mode switching in AR with two, four, six, and eight modes. We found that as the number of modes increase, performance plateaus after the four-mode condition. We also found that counting gestures have varying effects on mode switching performance in AR. Our findings suggest that modeling mode switching performance in AR is more complex than simply counting the number of available modes. Our work lays a foundation for understanding the costs associated with scaling interaction techniques in AR. 
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