skip to main content

Title: Measurement of Scintillation and Ionization Yield and Scintillation Pulse Shape from Nuclear Recoils in Liquid Argon

We have measured the scintillation and ionization yield of recoiling nuclei in liquid argon as a function of applied electric field by exposing a dual-phase liquid argon time projection chamber (LAr-TPC) to a low energy pulsed narrow band neutron beam produced at the Notre Dame Institute for Structure and Nuclear Astrophysics. Liquid scintillation counters were arranged to detect and identify neutrons scattered in the TPC and to select the energy of the recoiling nuclei. We also report measurements of the scintillation yields for nuclear recoils with energies from 10.3 to 57.3 keV and for median applied electric fields from 0 to 970 V/cm. For the ionization yields, we report measurements from 16.9 to 57.3 keV and for electric fields from 96.4 to 486 V/cm. Furthermore, we report the observation of an anticorrelation between scintillation and ionization from nuclear recoils, which is similar to the anticorrelation between scintillation and ionization from electron recoils. Assuming that the energy loss partitions into excitons and ion pairs from 83mKr internal conversion electrons is comparable to that from 207Bi conversion electrons, we obtained the numbers of excitons (Nex) and ion pairs (Ni) and their ratio (Nex/Ni) produced by nuclear recoils from 16.9 to 57.3 keV.more » Motivated by arguments suggesting direction sensitivity in LAr-TPC signals due to columnar recombination, a comparison of the light and charge yield of recoils parallel and perpendicular to the applied electric field is presented for the first time.« less
  1. Princeton Univ., NJ (United States). et al.
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1550-7998; arXiv eprint number arXiv:1406.4825
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-07CH11359; AC52-07NA27344
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review. D, Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 91; Journal Issue: 09; Journal ID: ISSN 1550-7998
American Physical Society (APS)
Research Org:
Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25)
Contributing Orgs:
SCENE Collaboration
Country of Publication:
United States