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Title: Solar neutrinos as a signal and background in direct-detection experiments searching for sub-GeV dark matter with electron recoils

Abstract

Direct-detection experiments sensitive to low-energy electron recoils from sub-GeV dark matter interactions will also be sensitive to solar neutrinos via coherent neutrino-nucleus scattering (CNS), since the recoiling nucleus can produce a small ionization signal. Solar neutrinos constitute both an interesting signal in their own right and a potential background to a dark matter search that cannot be controlled or reduced by improved shielding, material purification and handling, or improved detector design. We explore these two possibilities in detail for semiconductor (silicon and germanium) and xenon targets, considering several possibilities for the unmeasured ionization efficiency at low energies. For dark-matter-electron-scattering searches, neutrinos start being an important background for exposures larger than ~1–10 kg – years in silicon and germanium, and for exposures larger than ~0.1–1 kg–year in xenon. For the absorption of bosonic dark matter (dark photons and axion-like particles) by electrons, neutrinos are most relevant for masses below ~1 keV and again slightly more important in xenon. Treating the neutrinos as a signal, we find that the CNS of 8B neutrinos can be observed with ~2σ significance with exposures of ~2 , 7, and 20 kg-years in xenon, germanium, and silicon, respectively, assuming there are no other backgrounds. We givemore » an example for how this would constrain nonstandard neutrino interactions. Neutrino components at lower energy can only be detected if the ionization efficiency is sufficiently large. In this case, observing pep neutrinos via CNS requires exposures ≳ 10–100 kg–years in silicon or germanium (~1000 kg-years in xenon), and observing CNO neutrinos would require an order of magnitude more exposure. Only silicon could potentially detect 7Be neutrinos. Thus, these measurements would allow for a direct measurement of the electron-neutrino survival probability over a wide energy range.« less

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Research Foundation For The State Univ. Of New York, Albany, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1438068
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1501438
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0017938
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Physical Review D
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Physical Review D Journal Volume: 97 Journal Issue: 9; Journal ID: ISSN 2470-0010
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS

Citation Formats

Essig, Rouven, Sholapurkar, Mukul, and Yu, Tien-Tien. Solar neutrinos as a signal and background in direct-detection experiments searching for sub-GeV dark matter with electron recoils. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.97.095029.
Essig, Rouven, Sholapurkar, Mukul, & Yu, Tien-Tien. Solar neutrinos as a signal and background in direct-detection experiments searching for sub-GeV dark matter with electron recoils. United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.97.095029.
Essig, Rouven, Sholapurkar, Mukul, and Yu, Tien-Tien. Mon . "Solar neutrinos as a signal and background in direct-detection experiments searching for sub-GeV dark matter with electron recoils". United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.97.095029.
@article{osti_1438068,
title = {Solar neutrinos as a signal and background in direct-detection experiments searching for sub-GeV dark matter with electron recoils},
author = {Essig, Rouven and Sholapurkar, Mukul and Yu, Tien-Tien},
abstractNote = {Direct-detection experiments sensitive to low-energy electron recoils from sub-GeV dark matter interactions will also be sensitive to solar neutrinos via coherent neutrino-nucleus scattering (CNS), since the recoiling nucleus can produce a small ionization signal. Solar neutrinos constitute both an interesting signal in their own right and a potential background to a dark matter search that cannot be controlled or reduced by improved shielding, material purification and handling, or improved detector design. We explore these two possibilities in detail for semiconductor (silicon and germanium) and xenon targets, considering several possibilities for the unmeasured ionization efficiency at low energies. For dark-matter-electron-scattering searches, neutrinos start being an important background for exposures larger than ~1–10 kg – years in silicon and germanium, and for exposures larger than ~0.1–1 kg–year in xenon. For the absorption of bosonic dark matter (dark photons and axion-like particles) by electrons, neutrinos are most relevant for masses below ~1 keV and again slightly more important in xenon. Treating the neutrinos as a signal, we find that the CNS of 8B neutrinos can be observed with ~2σ significance with exposures of ~2 , 7, and 20 kg-years in xenon, germanium, and silicon, respectively, assuming there are no other backgrounds. We give an example for how this would constrain nonstandard neutrino interactions. Neutrino components at lower energy can only be detected if the ionization efficiency is sufficiently large. In this case, observing pep neutrinos via CNS requires exposures ≳ 10–100 kg–years in silicon or germanium (~1000 kg-years in xenon), and observing CNO neutrinos would require an order of magnitude more exposure. Only silicon could potentially detect 7Be neutrinos. Thus, these measurements would allow for a direct measurement of the electron-neutrino survival probability over a wide energy range.},
doi = {10.1103/PhysRevD.97.095029},
journal = {Physical Review D},
number = 9,
volume = 97,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {5}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.97.095029

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Cited by: 8 works
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