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Title: First measurement of surface nuclear recoil background for argon dark matter searches

Abstract

Here, one major background in direct searches for weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) comes from the deposition of radon progeny on detector surfaces. A dangerous surface background is the 206Pb nuclear recoils produced by 210Po decays. In this paper, we report the first characterization of this background in liquid argon. The scintillation signal of low energy Pb recoils is measured to be highly quenched in argon, and we estimate that the 103 keV 206Pb recoil background will produce a signal equal to that of a ~5 keV (30 keV) electron recoil (40Ar recoil). In addition, we demonstrate that this dangerous 210Po surface background can be suppressed, using pulse shape discrimination methods, by a factor of ~100 or higher, which can make argon dark matter detectors near background-free and enhance their potential for discovery of medium- and high-mass WIMPs. Lastly, we also discuss the impact on other low background experiments.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [1]
  1. Princeton Univ., NJ (United States). Department of Physics
  2. Queen's Univ., Kingston, ON (Canada). Department of Physics, Engineering Physics, and Astronomy
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
1426118
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1392729
Report Number(s):
LLNL-JRNL-703423
Journal ID: ISSN 2470-0010; PRVDAQ; TRN: US1802222
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC52-07NA27344
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review D
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 96; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 2470-0010
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
73 NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND RADIATION PHYSICS; 72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS

Citation Formats

Xu, Jingke, Stanford, Chris, Westerdale, Shawn, Calaprice, Frank, Wright, Alexander, and Shi, Zhiming. First measurement of surface nuclear recoil background for argon dark matter searches. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevD.96.061101.
Xu, Jingke, Stanford, Chris, Westerdale, Shawn, Calaprice, Frank, Wright, Alexander, & Shi, Zhiming. First measurement of surface nuclear recoil background for argon dark matter searches. United States. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevD.96.061101
Xu, Jingke, Stanford, Chris, Westerdale, Shawn, Calaprice, Frank, Wright, Alexander, and Shi, Zhiming. Tue . "First measurement of surface nuclear recoil background for argon dark matter searches". United States. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevD.96.061101. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1426118.
@article{osti_1426118,
title = {First measurement of surface nuclear recoil background for argon dark matter searches},
author = {Xu, Jingke and Stanford, Chris and Westerdale, Shawn and Calaprice, Frank and Wright, Alexander and Shi, Zhiming},
abstractNote = {Here, one major background in direct searches for weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) comes from the deposition of radon progeny on detector surfaces. A dangerous surface background is the 206Pb nuclear recoils produced by 210Po decays. In this paper, we report the first characterization of this background in liquid argon. The scintillation signal of low energy Pb recoils is measured to be highly quenched in argon, and we estimate that the 103 keV 206Pb recoil background will produce a signal equal to that of a ~5 keV (30 keV) electron recoil (40Ar recoil). In addition, we demonstrate that this dangerous 210Po surface background can be suppressed, using pulse shape discrimination methods, by a factor of ~100 or higher, which can make argon dark matter detectors near background-free and enhance their potential for discovery of medium- and high-mass WIMPs. Lastly, we also discuss the impact on other low background experiments.},
doi = {10.1103/PhysRevD.96.061101},
journal = {Physical Review D},
number = 6,
volume = 96,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {9}
}

Journal Article:

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Cited by: 2 works
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    Works referencing / citing this record:

    DarkSide-50 532-day dark matter search with low-radioactivity argon
    journal, November 2018