skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Direct detection of MeV-scale dark matter utilizing germanium internal amplification for the charge created by the ionization of impurities

Abstract

Light, MeV-scale dark matter (DM) is an exciting DM candidate that is undetectable by current experiments. A germanium (Ge) detector utilizing internal charge amplification for the charge carriers created by the ionization of impurities is a promising new technology with experimental sensitivity for detecting MeV-scale DM. We analyze the physics mechanisms of the signal formation, charge creation, charge internal amplification, and the projected sensitivity for directly detecting MeV-scale DM particles. We present a design for a novel Ge detector at helium temperature (~4 K) enabling ionization of impurities from DM impacts. With large localized E-fields, the ionized excitations can be accelerated to kinetic energies larger than the Ge bandgap at which point they can create additional electron–hole pairs, producing intrinsic amplification to achieve an ultra-low energy threshold of ~0.1 eV for detecting low-mass DM particles in the MeV scale. Correspondingly, such a Ge detector with 1 kg-year exposure will have high sensitivity to a DM-nucleon cross section of ~5 × 10 -45 cm 2 at a DM mass of ~10 MeV/c 2 and a DM-electron cross section of ~ 5 × 10 -46 cm 2 at a DM mass of 1 MeV/c 2.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [2];  [2];  [2];  [2];  [2];  [2];  [2];  [2]
  1. Univ. of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD (United States); Yangtze University, Jingzhou (China)
  2. Univ. of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ., of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1510277
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0004768; FG02-10ER46709
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
European Physical Journal. C, Particles and Fields
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 78; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 1434-6044
Publisher:
Springer
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS

Citation Formats

Mei, D. -M., Wang, G. -J., Mei, H., Yang, G., Liu, J., Wagner, M., Panth, R., Kooi, K., Yang, Y. -Y., and Wei, W. -Z.. Direct detection of MeV-scale dark matter utilizing germanium internal amplification for the charge created by the ionization of impurities. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1140/epjc/s10052-018-5653-z.
Mei, D. -M., Wang, G. -J., Mei, H., Yang, G., Liu, J., Wagner, M., Panth, R., Kooi, K., Yang, Y. -Y., & Wei, W. -Z.. Direct detection of MeV-scale dark matter utilizing germanium internal amplification for the charge created by the ionization of impurities. United States. doi:10.1140/epjc/s10052-018-5653-z.
Mei, D. -M., Wang, G. -J., Mei, H., Yang, G., Liu, J., Wagner, M., Panth, R., Kooi, K., Yang, Y. -Y., and Wei, W. -Z.. Tue . "Direct detection of MeV-scale dark matter utilizing germanium internal amplification for the charge created by the ionization of impurities". United States. doi:10.1140/epjc/s10052-018-5653-z. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1510277.
@article{osti_1510277,
title = {Direct detection of MeV-scale dark matter utilizing germanium internal amplification for the charge created by the ionization of impurities},
author = {Mei, D. -M. and Wang, G. -J. and Mei, H. and Yang, G. and Liu, J. and Wagner, M. and Panth, R. and Kooi, K. and Yang, Y. -Y. and Wei, W. -Z.},
abstractNote = {Light, MeV-scale dark matter (DM) is an exciting DM candidate that is undetectable by current experiments. A germanium (Ge) detector utilizing internal charge amplification for the charge carriers created by the ionization of impurities is a promising new technology with experimental sensitivity for detecting MeV-scale DM. We analyze the physics mechanisms of the signal formation, charge creation, charge internal amplification, and the projected sensitivity for directly detecting MeV-scale DM particles. We present a design for a novel Ge detector at helium temperature (~4 K) enabling ionization of impurities from DM impacts. With large localized E-fields, the ionized excitations can be accelerated to kinetic energies larger than the Ge bandgap at which point they can create additional electron–hole pairs, producing intrinsic amplification to achieve an ultra-low energy threshold of ~0.1 eV for detecting low-mass DM particles in the MeV scale. Correspondingly, such a Ge detector with 1 kg-year exposure will have high sensitivity to a DM-nucleon cross section of ~5 × 10-45 cm2 at a DM mass of ~10 MeV/c2 and a DM-electron cross section of ~ 5 × 10-46 cm2 at a DM mass of 1 MeV/c2.},
doi = {10.1140/epjc/s10052-018-5653-z},
journal = {European Physical Journal. C, Particles and Fields},
number = 3,
volume = 78,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {3}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Development of large size high-purity germanium crystal growth
journal, August 2012