189 research outputs found

    Development of wavelength shifter coated reflectors for the ArDM argon dark matter detector

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    To optimise the design of the light readout in the ArDM 1-ton liquid argon dark matter detector, a range of reflector and WLS coating combinations were investigated in several small setups, where argon scintillation light was generated by radioactive sources in gas at normal temperature and pressure and shifted into the blue region by tetraphenyl butadiene (TPB). Various thicknesses of TPB were deposited by spraying and vacuum evaporation onto specular 3MTM-foil and diffuse Tetratex┬« (TTX) substrates. Light yields of each reflector and TPB coating combination were compared. Reflection coefficients of TPB coated reflectors were independently measured using a spectroradiometer in a wavelength range between 200 and 650 nm. WLS coating on the PMT window was also studied. These measurements were used to define the parameters of the light reflectors of the ArDM experiment. Fifteen large 120 ├Ś 25 cm2 TTX sheets were coated and assembled in the detector. Measurements in argon gas are reported providing good evidence of fulfilling the light collection requirements of the experiment

    Study of nuclear recoils in liquid argon with monoenergetic neutrons

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    For the development of liquid argon dark matter detectors we assembled a setup in the laboratory to scatter neutrons on a small liquid argon target. The neutrons are produced mono-energetically (E_kin=2.45 MeV) by nuclear fusion in a deuterium plasma and are collimated onto a 3" liquid argon cell operating in single-phase mode (zero electric field). Organic liquid scintillators are used to tag scattered neutrons and to provide a time-of-flight measurement. The setup is designed to study light pulse shapes and scintillation yields from nuclear and electronic recoils as well as from {\alpha}-particles at working points relevant to dark matter searches. Liquid argon offers the possibility to scrutinise scintillation yields in noble liquids with respect to the populations of the two fundamental excimer states. Here we present experimental methods and first results from recent data towards such studies.Comment: 9 pages, 8 figures, proceedings of TAUP 2011, to be published in Journal of Physics: Conference Series (JCPS

    The Argon Dark Matter Experiment (ArDM)

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    The ArDM experiment, a 1 ton liquid argon TPC/Calorimeter, is designed for the detection of dark matter particles which can scatter off the spinless argon nuclei. These events producing a recoiling nucleus will be discerned by their light to charge ratio, as well as the time structure of the scintillation light. The experiment is presently under construction and will be commissioned on surface at CERN. Here we describe the detector concept and give a short review on the main detector components.Comment: Proceedings of 4th Patras workshop (DESY) on Axions, Wimps and Wisps (4 pages, 4 figures

    Recent updates on the ArDM project: A Liquid Argon TPC for Dark Matter Detection

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    ArDM is a new-generation WIMP detector which will measure simultaneously light and charge from scintillation and ionization of liquid argon. Our goal is to construct, characterize and operate a 1 ton liquid argon underground detector. The project relies on the possibility to extract the electrons produced by ionization from the liquid into the gas phase of the detector, to amplify and read out with Large Electron Multipliers detectors. Argon VUV scintillation light has to be converted with wavelength shifters such as TetraPhenyl Butadiene in order to be detected by photomultipliers with bialkali photocathodes. We describe the status of the LEM based charge readout and light readout system R&D and the first light readout tests with warm and cold argon gas in the full size detector.Comment: 10 pages, 9 figures, Talk given at the XIII International Conference on Calorimetry in High Energy Physics (CALOR08), May 2008, Pavia, Ital

    Luminescence quenching of the triplet excimer state by air traces in gaseous argon

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    While developing a liquid argon detector for dark matter searches we investigate the influence of air contamination on the VUV scintillation yield in gaseous argon at atmospheric pressure. We determine with a radioactive alpha-source the photon yield for various partial air pressures and different reflectors and wavelength shifters. We find for the fast scintillation component a time constant tau1= 11.3 +- 2.8 ns, independent of gas purity. However, the decay time of the slow component depends on gas purity and is a good indicator for the total VUV light yield. This dependence is attributed to impurities destroying the long-lived argon excimer states. The population ratio between the slowly and the fast decaying excimer states is determined for alpha-particles to be 5.5 +-0.6 in argon gas at 1100 mbar and room temperature. The measured mean life of the slow component is tau2 = 3.140 +- 0.067 microsec at a partial air pressure of 2 x 10-6 mbar.Comment: 7 pages submitted to NIM

    First results on light readout from the 1-ton ArDM liquid argon detector for dark matter searches

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    ArDM-1t is the prototype for a next generation WIMP detector measuring both the scintillation light and the ionization charge from nuclear recoils in a 1-ton liquid argon target. The goal is to reach a minimum recoil energy of 30\,keVr to detect recoiling nuclei. In this paper we describe the experimental concept and present results on the light detection system, tested for the first time in ArDM on the surface at CERN. With a preliminary and incomplete set of PMTs, the light yield at zero electric field is found to be between 0.3-0.5 phe/keVee depending on the position within the detector volume, confirming our expectations based on smaller detector setups.Comment: 14 pages, 10 figures, v2 accepted for publication in JINS

    Towards a liquid Argon TPC without evacuation: filling of a 6 m^3 vessel with argon gas from air to ppm impurities concentration through flushing

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    In this paper we present a successful experimental test of filling a volume of 6 m3^3 with argon gas, starting from normal ambient air and reducing the impurities content down to few parts per million (ppm) oxygen equivalent. This level of contamination was directly monitored measuring the slow component of the scintillation light of the Ar gas, which is sensitive to {\it all} sources of impurities affecting directly the argon scintillation.Comment: 9 pages, 6 figures, to appear in Proc. 1st International Workshop towards the Giant Liquid Argon Charge Imaging Experiment (GLA2010), Tsukuba, March 201
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