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New measurement of the relative scintillation efficiency of xenon nuclear recoils below 10 keV


Aprile, E; Baudis, L; Choi, B; Giboni, K L; Lim, K E; Manalaysay, A; Monzani, M E; Plante, G; Santorelli, R; Yamashita, M (2009). New measurement of the relative scintillation efficiency of xenon nuclear recoils below 10 keV. Physical Review C, 79(4):045807.

Abstract

Liquid xenon is an important detection medium in direct dark matter experiments, which search for low-energy nuclear recoils produced by the elastic scattering of WIMPs with quarks. The two existing measurements of the relative scintillation efficiency of nuclear recoils below 20 keV lead to inconsistent extrapolations at lower energies. This results in a different energy scale and thus sensitivity reach of liquid xenon dark matter detectors. We report a new measurement of the relative scintillation efficiency below 10 keV performed with a liquid xenon scintillation detector, optimized for maximum light collection. Greater than 95% of the interior surface of this detector was instrumented with photomultiplier tubes, giving a scintillation yield of 19.6 photoelectrons/keV electron equivalent for 122-keV γ rays. We find that the relative scintillation efficiency for nuclear recoils of 5 keV is 0.14, staying constant around this value up to 10 keV. For higher energy recoils we measure a value of 0.21, consistent with previously reported data. In light of this new measurement, the XENON10 experiment's upper limits on spin-independent WIMP-nucleon cross section, which were calculated assuming a constant 0.19 relative scintillation efficiency, change from 8.8×10-44 cm2 to 9.9×10-44 cm2 for WIMPs of mass 100 GeV/c2, and from 4.5×10-44 cm2 to 5.6×10-44 cm2 for WIMPs of mass 30 GeV/c2.

Abstract

Liquid xenon is an important detection medium in direct dark matter experiments, which search for low-energy nuclear recoils produced by the elastic scattering of WIMPs with quarks. The two existing measurements of the relative scintillation efficiency of nuclear recoils below 20 keV lead to inconsistent extrapolations at lower energies. This results in a different energy scale and thus sensitivity reach of liquid xenon dark matter detectors. We report a new measurement of the relative scintillation efficiency below 10 keV performed with a liquid xenon scintillation detector, optimized for maximum light collection. Greater than 95% of the interior surface of this detector was instrumented with photomultiplier tubes, giving a scintillation yield of 19.6 photoelectrons/keV electron equivalent for 122-keV γ rays. We find that the relative scintillation efficiency for nuclear recoils of 5 keV is 0.14, staying constant around this value up to 10 keV. For higher energy recoils we measure a value of 0.21, consistent with previously reported data. In light of this new measurement, the XENON10 experiment's upper limits on spin-independent WIMP-nucleon cross section, which were calculated assuming a constant 0.19 relative scintillation efficiency, change from 8.8×10-44 cm2 to 9.9×10-44 cm2 for WIMPs of mass 100 GeV/c2, and from 4.5×10-44 cm2 to 5.6×10-44 cm2 for WIMPs of mass 30 GeV/c2.

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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:2009
Deposited On:29 Jan 2010 13:19
Last Modified:18 Feb 2018 00:04
Publisher:American Physical Society
ISSN:0556-2813
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevC.79.045807
Related URLs:http://arxiv.org/abs/0810.0274

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