M. Batalle ́

Universitat de Girona, Girona, Catalonia, Spain

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Publications (3)3.31 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We propose an EASY (Electroluminescent ApparatuS of high Yield) and SOFT (Separated Optimized FuncTion) time-projection chamber for the NEXT experiment, that will search for neutrinoless double beta decay (ββ0ν) in 136 Xe. Our experiment must be competitive with the new generation of ββ0ν searches already in operation or in construction. This requires a detector with very good energy resolution (1%), very low background con-tamination (∼ 10 −4 counts/(keV · kg · y)) and large target mass. In addition, it needs to be operational as soon as possible. The design described here optimizes energy resolution thanks to the use of proportional electroluminescent amplification (EL), which provides a large yield of photons as a signal; it is compact, as the Xe gas is under high pressure; and it allows the measurement of the topological signature of the event to further reduce the background contamination. The SOFT design uses different sensors for tracking and calorimetry. We propose the use of SiPMs (MPPCs) coated with a suitable wavelength shifter for the tracking, and the use of radiopure photomultipliers for the measurement of the energy and the primary scintillation needed to estimate the t 0 . This design provides the best possible energy resolution compared with other NEXT designs based on avalanche gain devices. The baseline design is an Asymmetric Neutrino Gas EL apparatus (ANGEL), which was already outlined in the NEXT LOI. ANGEL is conceived to be easy to fabricate. It requires very little R&D and most of the proposed solutions have already been tested in the NEXT-1 prototypes. Therefore, the detector can be ready by 2013. The detector may be upgraded to a fiducial mass of 1 ton after the initial physics runs, following the successful approach of GERDA and XENON experiments. With our design, NEXT will be competitive and possibly out-perform existing proposals for next-generation neutrinoless double-beta decay experiments. In this Conceptual Design Report (CDR) we discuss first the physics case, present a full design of the detector, describe the NEXT-1 EL prototypes and their initial results, and outline a project to build a detector with 100 kg of enriched xenon to be installed in the Canfranc Underground Laboratory in 2013.
    Journal of Instrumentation 06/2012; 7(T06001). · 1.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Silicon photomultipliers (SiPM) are the photon detectors chosen for the tracking readout in NEXT, a neutrinoless \bb decay experiment which uses a high pressure gaseous xenon time projection chamber (TPC). The reconstruction of event track and topology in this gaseous detector is a key handle for background rejection. Among the commercially available sensors that can be used for tracking, SiPMs offer important advantages, mainly high gain, ruggedness, cost-effectiveness and radio-purity. Their main drawback, however, is their non sensitivity in the emission spectrum of the xenon scintillation (peak at 175 nm). This is overcome by coating these sensors with the organic wavelength shifter tetraphenyl butadiene (TPB). In this paper we describe the protocol developed for coating the SiPMs with TPB and the measurements performed for characterizing the coatings as well as the performance of the coated sensors in the UV-VUV range.
    Journal of Instrumentation 02/2012; 7(02):P02010. · 1.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We propose an EASY (Electroluminescent ApparatuS of high Yield) and SOFT (Separated Optimized FuncTion) time-projection chamber for the NEXT experiment, that will search for neutrinoless double beta decay (bb0nu) in Xe-136. Our experiment must be competitive with the new generation of bb0nu searches already in operation or in construction. This requires a detector with very good energy resolution (<1%), very low background con- tamination (1E-4 counts/(keV \bullet kg \bullet y)) and large target mass. In addition, it needs to be operational as soon as possible. The design described here optimizes energy resolution thanks to the use of proportional electroluminescent amplification (EL); it is compact, as the Xe gas is under high pressure; and it allows the measurement of the topological signature of the event to further reduce the background contamination. The SOFT design uses different sensors for tracking and calorimetry. We propose the use of SiPMs (MPPCs) coated with a suitable wavelength shifter for the tracking, and the use of radiopure photomultipliers for the measurement of the energy and the primary scintillation needed to estimate the t0. This design provides the best possible energy resolution compared with other NEXT designs based on avalanche gain devices. The baseline design is an Asymmetric Neutrino Gas EL apparatus (ANGEL), which was already outlined in the NEXT LOI. ANGEL is conceived to be easy to fabricate. It requires very little R&D and most of the proposed solutions have already been tested in the NEXT-1 prototypes. Therefore, the detector can be ready by 2013. In this Conceptual Design Report (CDR) we discuss first the physics case, present a full design of the detector, describe the NEXT-1 EL prototypes and their initial results, and outline a project to build a detector with 100 kg of enriched xenon to be installed in the Canfranc Underground Laboratory in 2013.
    06/2011;