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Measurement of the bulk radioactive contamination of detector-grade silicon with DAMIC at SNOLAB


Aguilar-Arevalo, A; Amidei, D; Baxter, D; Cancelo, G; et al; Kilminster, Ben; Lee, S J (2021). Measurement of the bulk radioactive contamination of detector-grade silicon with DAMIC at SNOLAB. Journal of Instrumentation, 16(06):P06019.

Abstract

We present measurements of bulk radiocontaminants in the high-resistivity silicon CCDs from the DAMIC experiment at SNOLAB. We utilize the exquisite spatial resolution of CCDs to discriminate between α and β decays, and to search with high efficiency for the spatially-correlated decays of various radioisotope sequences. Using spatially-correlated β decays, we measure a bulk radioactive contamination of 32Si in the CCDs of 140 ± 30 μBq/kg, and place an upper limit on bulk 210Pb of < 160 μBq/kg. Using similar analyses of spatially-correlated α and β decays, we set upper limits of < 11 μBq/kg (0.9 ppt) on 238U and < 7.3 μBq/kg (1.8 ppt) on 232Th in the bulk silicon. The ability of DAMIC CCDs to identify and reject spatially-coincident backgrounds, particularly from 32Si, has significant implications for the next generation of silicon-based dark matter experiments, where β's from 32Si decay will likely be a dominant background.

Abstract

We present measurements of bulk radiocontaminants in the high-resistivity silicon CCDs from the DAMIC experiment at SNOLAB. We utilize the exquisite spatial resolution of CCDs to discriminate between α and β decays, and to search with high efficiency for the spatially-correlated decays of various radioisotope sequences. Using spatially-correlated β decays, we measure a bulk radioactive contamination of 32Si in the CCDs of 140 ± 30 μBq/kg, and place an upper limit on bulk 210Pb of < 160 μBq/kg. Using similar analyses of spatially-correlated α and β decays, we set upper limits of < 11 μBq/kg (0.9 ppt) on 238U and < 7.3 μBq/kg (1.8 ppt) on 232Th in the bulk silicon. The ability of DAMIC CCDs to identify and reject spatially-coincident backgrounds, particularly from 32Si, has significant implications for the next generation of silicon-based dark matter experiments, where β's from 32Si decay will likely be a dominant background.

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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
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Mathematical Physics
Physical Sciences > Instrumentation
Uncontrolled Keywords:Mathematical Physics, Instrumentation
Language:English
Date:1 June 2021
Deposited On:02 Feb 2022 14:40
Last Modified:26 Feb 2024 02:46
Publisher:IOP Publishing
ISSN:1748-0221
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-0221/16/06/p06019
  • Content: Accepted Version