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  1. Abstract Generative Adversarial Networks trained on samples of simulated or actual events have been proposed as a way of generating large simulated datasets at a reduced computational cost. In this work, a novel approach to perform the simulation of photodetector signals from the time projection chamber of the EXO-200 experiment is demonstrated. The method is based on a Wasserstein Generative Adversarial Network — a deep learning technique allowing for implicit non-parametric estimation of the population distribution for a given set of objects. Our network is trained on real calibration data using raw scintillation waveforms as input. We find that it is able to produce high-quality simulated waveforms an order of magnitude faster than the traditional simulation approach and, importantly, generalize from the training sample and discern salient high-level features of the data. In particular, the network correctly deduces position dependency of scintillation light response in the detector and correctly recognizes dead photodetector channels. The network output is then integrated into the EXO-200 analysis framework to show that the standard EXO-200 reconstruction routine processes the simulated waveforms to produce energy distributions comparable to that of real waveforms. Finally, the remaining discrepancies and potential ways to improve the approach further are highlighted. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024
  2. Abstract Liquid xenon time projection chambers are promising detectors to search for neutrinoless double beta decay (0 $$\nu \beta \beta $$ ν β β ), due to their response uniformity, monolithic sensitive volume, scalability to large target masses, and suitability for extremely low background operations. The nEXO collaboration has designed a tonne-scale time projection chamber that aims to search for 0 $$\nu \beta \beta $$ ν β β of $$^{136}$$ 136 Xe with projected half-life sensitivity of $$1.35\times 10^{28}$$ 1.35 × 10 28  yr. To reach this sensitivity, the design goal for nEXO is $$\le $$ ≤ 1% energy resolution at the decay Q -value ( $$2458.07\pm 0.31$$ 2458.07 ± 0.31  keV). Reaching this resolution requires the efficient collection of both the ionization and scintillation produced in the detector. The nEXO design employs Silicon Photo-Multipliers (SiPMs) to detect the vacuum ultra-violet, 175 nm scintillation light of liquid xenon. This paper reports on the characterization of the newest vacuum ultra-violet sensitive Fondazione Bruno Kessler VUVHD3 SiPMs specifically designed for nEXO, as well as new measurements on new test samples of previously characterised Hamamatsu VUV4 Multi Pixel Photon Counters (MPPCs). Various SiPM and MPPC parameters, such as dark noise, gain, direct crosstalk, correlated avalanches and photon detection efficiency were measured as a function of the applied over voltage and wavelength at liquid xenon temperature (163 K). The results from this study are used to provide updated estimates of the achievable energy resolution at the decay Q -value for the nEXO design. 
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  3. Abstract We study a possible calibration technique for the nEXO experiment using a 127 Xe electron capture source. nEXO is a next-generation search for neutrinoless double beta decay (0 νββ ) that will use a 5-tonne, monolithic liquid xenon time projection chamber (TPC). The xenon, used both as source and detection medium, will be enriched to 90% in 136 Xe. To optimize the event reconstruction and energy resolution, calibrations are needed to map the position- and time-dependent detector response. The 36.3 day half-life of 127 Xe and its small Q-value compared to that of 136 Xe 0 νββ would allow a small activity to be maintained continuously in the detector during normal operations without introducing additional backgrounds, thereby enabling in-situ calibration and monitoring of the detector response. In this work we describe a process for producing the source and preliminary experimental tests. We then use simulations to project the precision with which such a source could calibrate spatial corrections to the light and charge response of the nEXO TPC. 
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  4. Abstract The EXO-200 experiment searched for neutrinoless double-beta decay of 136 Xe with a single-phase liquid xenon detector. It used an active mass of 110 kg of 80.6%-enriched liquid xenon in an ultra-low background time projection chamber with ionization and scintillation detection and readout. This paper describes the design and performance of the various support systems necessary for detector operation, including cryogenics, xenon handling, and controls. Novel features of the system were driven by the need to protect the thin-walled detector chamber containing the liquid xenon, to achieve high chemical purity of the Xe, and to maintain thermal uniformity across the detector. 
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  5. 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. 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. 
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