Single electron emission in two-phase xenon with application to thedetection of coherent neutrino-nucleus scattering

Journal of High Energy Physics (Impact Factor: 6.11). 10/2011; 12:115. DOI: 10.1007/JHEP12(2011)115
Source: arXiv


We present an experimental study of single electron emission in ZEPLIN-III, a
two-phase xenon experiment built to search for dark matter WIMPs, and discuss
applications enabled by the excellent signal-to-noise ratio achieved in
detecting this signature. Firstly, we demonstrate a practical method for
precise measurement of the free electron lifetime in liquid xenon during normal
operation of these detectors. Then, using a realistic detector response model
and backgrounds, we assess the feasibility of deploying such an instrument for
measuring coherent neutrino-nucleus elastic scattering using the ionisation
channel in the few-electron regime. We conclude that it should be possible to
measure this elusive neutrino signature above an ionisation threshold of
$\sim$3 electrons both at a stopped pion source and at a nuclear reactor.
Detectable signal rates are larger in the reactor case, but the triggered
measurement and harder recoil energy spectrum afforded by the accelerator
source enable lower overall background and fiducialisation of the active

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Available from: M. Isabel Lopes
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