14-17 September 2021
America/Los_Angeles timezone

Latest Results from the Xenon Breakdown Apparatus

16 Sep 2021, 08:15
Detector techniques (HV, purification, cryogenics, calibration etc.) Detector Techniques (3A)


Reed Watson (University of California, Berkeley)


The Liquid Xenon Time-Projection Chamber (LXe TPC) is a leading technology in the fields of dark matter direct detection and neutrinoless double-beta decay searches, due in no small part to its scalability. The next generation of LXe TPCs intend to extend their drift lengths while maintaining their high operational electric fields (100s of Volts per cm). This increase in high voltage requires understanding how the risk of electrostatic discharge (ESD) correlates with various engineered quantities. To this end, the Xenon Breakdown Apparatus (XeBrA), a 5 Liter spark chamber with adjustable large area electrodes and transparent viewports, collected data on ESD in LXe under a variety of different conditions. Effects such as conditioning, pressure, ramp rate, stressed area, and surface finish were investigated. Data regarding the production of light and charge preceding an ESD were collected, along with novel position reconstruction of the associated plasma streamers using a pair of high frame rate cameras. In this talk, I present preliminary results from XeBrA and discuss the evidence collected for field-emission initiating breakdowns.

Primary authors

Reed Watson (University of California, Berkeley) Prof. Daniel McKinsey Dr Ibles Olcina (UC Berkeley)

Presentation Materials