Abstract

Proportional electroluminescence (EL) in noble gases has long been used in two-phase detectors for dark matter search, to record ionization signals induced by particle scattering in the noble-gas liquid (S2 signals). Until recently, it was believed that proportional electroluminescence was fully due to VUV emission of noble gas excimers produced in atomic collisions with excited atoms, the latter being in turn produced by drifting electrons. In this work we consider an additional mechanism of proportional electroluminescence, namely that of bremsstrahlung of drifting electrons scattered on neutral atoms (so-called neutral bremsstrahlung); it is systemically studied here both theoretically and experimentally. In particular, the absolute EL yield has for the first time been measured in pure gaseous argon in the two-phase mode, using a dedicated two-phase detector with EL gap optically read out by cryogenic PMTs and SiPMs. We show that the neutral bremsstrahlung effect can explain two intriguing observations in EL radiation: that of the substantial contribution of the non-VUV spectral component, extending from the UV to NIR, and that of the photon emission at lower electric fields, below the Ar excitation threshold. Possible applications of neutral bremsstrahlung effect in two-phase dark matter detectors are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-40
Number of pages12
JournalAstroparticle Physics
Volume103
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

Keywords

  • Dark matter detectors
  • Liquid argon
  • Neutral bremsstrahlung
  • Proportional electroluminescence
  • Two-phase detectors
  • GASES
  • SLOW ELECTRONS
  • DARK-MATTER EXPERIMENT
  • LIQUID ARGON
  • ELECTRON BREMSSTRAHLUNG
  • EMISSION DETECTOR
  • XENON
  • ATOMS
  • MONTE-CARLO-SIMULATION
  • SPECTRA

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