14-17 September 2021
America/Los_Angeles timezone

Scintillation yield from electronic and nuclear recoils in superfluid helium-4

15 Sep 2021, 08:15
Light/charge response in noble elements Light/Charge Response (2A)


Ryan Smith (UC Berkeley)


Superfluid He-4 is a promising target material for direct detection of low mass (< 1 GeV) dark matter. Signal channels for dark matter - nucleus interactions in superfluid helium include prompt photons, triplet excimers, rotons and phonons, but measurement of these signal strengths have yet to be performed for low energy nuclear recoils. A study of scintillation yield from electronic and nuclear recoils was carried out in superfluid He-4 at 1.75 K, with deposited energy in the range of 50-1000 keV. Scintillation from a 16 cm$^3$ volume of superfluid He-4 was read out by six PMTs immersed in the superfluid, each individually biased by a Cockcroft-Walton generator. Elastic scattering of 2.8 MeV neutrons (produced by a deuterium-deuterium neutron generator) from superfluid He-4, with a liquid organic scintillator module used as far-side detector, was used to determine the scintillation signal yield for a variety of nuclear recoil energies. Yields of both prompt and delayed scintillation components were measured and compared to a semi-empirical microphysical model. For comparison, Compton scattering of Cs-137 gamma rays from the superfluid He-4, with NaI scintillators used as far-side detectors, was used to determine the scintillation signal yield of electronic recoils.

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