A Study of Nuclear Recoils in Liquid Argon Time Projection Chamber for the Direct Detection of WIMP Dark Matter [report]

Huajie Cao
2014 unpublished
Robust results of WIMP direct detection experiments depend on firm understandings of nuclear recoils in the detector media. This thesis documents the most comprehensive study to date on nuclear recoils in liquid argon -a strong candidate for the next generation multi-ton scale WIMP detectors. This study investigates both the energy partition from nuclear recoil energy to secondary modes (scintillation and ionization) and the pulse shape characteristics of scintillation from nuclear recoils. Our
more » ... uclear recoils. Our collaboration, SCENE, acquired the scintillation and ionization signals of recoiling nuclei in liquid argon as a function of applied electric field by exposing a dual-phase Liquid Argon Time Projection Chamber (LAr-TPC) to a low energy pulsed narrowband neutron beam produced at the Notre Dame Institute for Structure and Nuclear Astrophysics. I present measurements of the scintillation yield and the scintillation pulse shape for nuclear recoils with energies from 10.3 to 57.2 keV and for applied electric fields from 0 to 1000 V/cm. I express my deepest thanks to my adviser Prof. Cristiano Galbiati for providing critical support to the SCENE experiment whenever it was most needed, and for giving me the opportunity to work on such a challenging experiment. This experience has greatly enhanced both my scientific knowledge and my ability to independently complete long-term projects. I thank my co-adviser Prof. Peter Meyers for his detailed feedback on this work.
doi:10.2172/1182552 fatcat:xpes3f2ikzguhe7764yuvtlybe