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Title: Absorption of light dark matter in semiconductors

Abstract

Semiconductors are by now well-established targets for direct detection of MeV to GeV dark matter via scattering off electrons. We show that semiconductor targets can also detect significantly lighter dark matter via an absorption process. When the dark matter mass is above the band gap of the semiconductor (around an eV), absorption proceeds by excitation of an electron into the conduction band. Below the band gap, multiphonon excitations enable absorption of dark matter in the 0.01 eV to eV mass range. Energetic dark matter particles emitted from the sun can also be probed for masses below an eV. We derive the reach for absorption of a relic kinetically mixed dark photon or pseudoscalar in germanium and silicon, and show that existing direct detection results already probe new parameter space. Finally, with only a moderate exposure, low-threshold semiconductor target experiments can exceed current astrophysical and terrestrial constraints on sub-keV bosonic dark matter.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [2]
  1. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States). Berkeley Center for Theoretical Physics
  2. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States). Berkeley Center for Theoretical Physics
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1430675
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1341931
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231; PHY-1002399; PHY-1316783
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review D
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 95; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 2470-0010
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS

Citation Formats

Hochberg, Yonit, Lin, Tongyan, and Zurek, Kathryn M. Absorption of light dark matter in semiconductors. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.95.023013.
Hochberg, Yonit, Lin, Tongyan, & Zurek, Kathryn M. Absorption of light dark matter in semiconductors. United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.95.023013.
Hochberg, Yonit, Lin, Tongyan, and Zurek, Kathryn M. Sun . "Absorption of light dark matter in semiconductors". United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.95.023013. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1430675.
@article{osti_1430675,
title = {Absorption of light dark matter in semiconductors},
author = {Hochberg, Yonit and Lin, Tongyan and Zurek, Kathryn M.},
abstractNote = {Semiconductors are by now well-established targets for direct detection of MeV to GeV dark matter via scattering off electrons. We show that semiconductor targets can also detect significantly lighter dark matter via an absorption process. When the dark matter mass is above the band gap of the semiconductor (around an eV), absorption proceeds by excitation of an electron into the conduction band. Below the band gap, multiphonon excitations enable absorption of dark matter in the 0.01 eV to eV mass range. Energetic dark matter particles emitted from the sun can also be probed for masses below an eV. We derive the reach for absorption of a relic kinetically mixed dark photon or pseudoscalar in germanium and silicon, and show that existing direct detection results already probe new parameter space. Finally, with only a moderate exposure, low-threshold semiconductor target experiments can exceed current astrophysical and terrestrial constraints on sub-keV bosonic dark matter.},
doi = {10.1103/PhysRevD.95.023013},
journal = {Physical Review D},
number = 2,
volume = 95,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {1}
}

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