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Title: Molecular excitations: a new way to detect Dark Matter

We believe that the Dark Matter (DM) search should be expanded into the domain of detectors sensitive to molecular excitations, and so that we should create detectors which are more sensitive to collisions with very light WIMPs. In this paper we investigate in detail diatomic molecules, such as fused silica material with large OH-molecule content, and water molecules. Presently, we do not have suitable low-cost IR detectors to observe single photons, however some OH-molecular excitations extend to visible and UV wavelengths and can be measured by bialkali photocathodes. There are many other chemical substances with diatomic molecules, or more complex oil molecules, which could be also investigated. This idea invites searches in experiments having large target volumes of such materials coupled to a large array of single-photon detectors with bialkali or infrared-sensitive photocathodes.
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0370-2693; arXiv:1402.0466
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics Letters. Section B; Journal Volume: 736; Journal Issue: C
Research Org:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; Astrophysics; ASTRO; DAMA experiment; dark matter search