ABSTRACT: The GERmanium Detector Array, GERDA, will search for neutrinoless double beta decay in <sup>76</sup>Ge at the National Gran Sasso Laboratory of the INFN. Bare high-purity germanium detectors enriched in <sup>76</sup>Ge will be submerged in liquid argon serving simultaneously as a shield against external radioactivity and as a cooling medium. In GERDA Phase-I, reprocessed enriched-Ge detectors, which were previously operated by the Heidelberg-Moscow and IGEX collaborations, will be redeployed. Before operating the enriched detectors, tests are performed with non-enriched bare HPGe detectors in the GERDA underground Detector Laboratory to test the Phase-I detector assembly, the detector handling protocols, the refurbishment technology and to study the long-term stability in liquid argon. The leakage currents in liquid argon and liquid nitrogen have been extensively studied under varying gamma irradiation conditions. In total three non-enriched high-purity p-type prototype germanium detectors have been operated successfully. The detector performance is stable over the long-term measurements. For the first time, performance of bare high-purity germanium detectors in liquid argon is reported.
Nuclear Science Symposium Conference Record, 2008. NSS '08. IEEE; 11/2008