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Removing krypton from xenon by cryogenic distillation to the ppq level


XENON Collaboration; Baudis, Laura; Brown, Adam; Capelli, Chiara; Galloway, Michelle; Kazama, Shingo; Kish, Alexander; Piastra, Francesco; Reichard, Shayne; Wulf, Julien; et al (2017). Removing krypton from xenon by cryogenic distillation to the ppq level. European Physical Journal C - Particles and Fields, C77(5):275.

Abstract

The XENON1T experiment aims for the direct detection of dark matter in a detector filled with 3.3 tons of liquid xenon. In order to achieve the desired sensitivity, the background induced by radioactive decays inside the detector has to be sufficiently low. One major contributor is the β\beta-emitter $^{85}$Kr which is present in the xenon. For XENON1T a concentration of natural krypton in xenon $^{nat}\mathrm{Kr/Xe}\,<\,200\,ppq$ (parts per quadrillion, $1~\mathrm{ppq}~=10^{-15} \mathrm{mol/mol}$) is required. In this work, the design, construction and test of a novel cryogenic distillation column using the common McCabe–Thiele approach is described. The system demonstrated a krypton reduction factor of $6.4\cdot 10^5$ with thermodynamic stability at process speeds above 3 kg/h. The resulting concentration of $^{nat}\mathrm{Kr/Xe}<26\,ppq$ is the lowest ever achieved, almost one order of magnitude below the requirements for XENON1T and even sufficient for future dark matter experiments using liquid xenon, such as XENONnT and DARWIN.

Abstract

The XENON1T experiment aims for the direct detection of dark matter in a detector filled with 3.3 tons of liquid xenon. In order to achieve the desired sensitivity, the background induced by radioactive decays inside the detector has to be sufficiently low. One major contributor is the β\beta-emitter $^{85}$Kr which is present in the xenon. For XENON1T a concentration of natural krypton in xenon $^{nat}\mathrm{Kr/Xe}\,<\,200\,ppq$ (parts per quadrillion, $1~\mathrm{ppq}~=10^{-15} \mathrm{mol/mol}$) is required. In this work, the design, construction and test of a novel cryogenic distillation column using the common McCabe–Thiele approach is described. The system demonstrated a krypton reduction factor of $6.4\cdot 10^5$ with thermodynamic stability at process speeds above 3 kg/h. The resulting concentration of $^{nat}\mathrm{Kr/Xe}<26\,ppq$ is the lowest ever achieved, almost one order of magnitude below the requirements for XENON1T and even sufficient for future dark matter experiments using liquid xenon, such as XENONnT and DARWIN.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:12 Feb 2018 15:32
Last Modified:31 Jul 2018 04:47
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1434-6044
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1140/epjc/s10052-017-4757-1

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