Observation and applications of single-electron charge signals in the XENON100 experiment

XENON100 Collaboration, E. Aprile*, M. Alfonsi, K. Arisaka, F. Arneodo, C. Balan, L. Baudis, B. Bauermeister, A. Behrens, P. Beltrame, K. Bokeloh, A. Brown, E. Brown, S. Bruenner, G. Bruno, R. Budnik, J. M. R. Cardoso, W-T Chen, B. Choi, A. P. ColijnH. Contreras, J. P. Cussonneau, M. P. Decowski, E. Duchovni, S. Fattori, A. D. Ferella, W. Fulgione, F. Gao, M. Garbini, C. Ghag, K-L Giboni, L. W. Goetzke, C. Grignon, E. Gross, W. Hampel, R. Itay, F. Kaether, G. Kessler, A. Kish, J. Lamblin, H. Landsman, R. F. Lang, M. Le Calloch, C. Levy, K. E. Lim, Q. Lin, S. Lindemann, M. Lindner, J. A. M. Lopes, K. Lung, T. Marrodan Undagoitia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The XENON100 dark matter experiment uses liquid xenon in a time projection chamber (TPC) to measure xenon nuclear recoils resulting from the scattering of dark matter weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs). In this paper, we report the observation of single-electron charge signals which are not related to WIMP interactions. These signals, which show the excellent sensitivity of the detector to small charge signals, are explained as being due to the photoionization of impurities in the liquid xenon and of the metal components inside the TPC. They are used as a unique calibration source to characterize the detector. We explain how we can infer crucial parameters for the XENON100 experiment: the secondary-scintillation gain, the extraction yield from the liquid to the gas phase and the electron drift velocity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number035201
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Physics G: Nuclear and Particle Physics
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014

Keywords

  • xenon
  • single electron
  • photoionization
  • double phase TPC
  • LIQUID XENON
  • NEAR-THRESHOLD
  • AR KR
  • TRANSPORT
  • ARGON
  • O-2
  • XE

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