Light Production and Detection in Noble Liquid Detectors

A special issue of Instruments (ISSN 2410-390X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2020) | Viewed by 12404

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, P.O. Box 500, Batavia, IL 60510, USA
Interests: particle physics; high energy physics

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Over the last three to four decades the use of noble liquids as detection media has matured into a technology employed by currently working or planned detectors for neutrino physics, dark matter searches, medical imaging, among other applications.

Noble liquids are excellent scintillators transparent to their own light which, however, lies in a region of the electromagnetic spectrum that makes it hard to be detected with ordinary photodetectors. With wavelengths ranging from the extreme ultraviolet (EUV), such as for liquid helium (80 nm) and liquid neon (78 nm), up to the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) at 128 nm (liquid argon),  150 nm (liquid krypton) and 175 nm (liquid xenon), it is clear that  ingenious ideas are needed for its efficient detection.

Detecting this abundant scintillation light is an asset for most experiments using noble liquids as it provides complementary information to the ionization signal and in combination with the latter may improve the reconstruction of low energy events and allow for better particle identification.

The aim of this Special Issue is to collect contributions covering important issues on the production, propagation and detection of the scintillation light in noble liquids. These issues affect the performance of current and future planned detectors and include the precise determination of the Rayleigh scattering  and absorption lengths, the potential use of dopants in the noble liquid volume, as well as the more conventional use of passive or active elements coated with wavelength shifters. On the detection front, the new development of VUV sensitive photon devices as well as more efficient ways of capturing the scintillation light over large areas will also be addressed.

Papers on the following topics of light production, propagation and detection in noble liquids are welcomed:

  • Atomic and molecular mechanisms of light production.
  • Atomic collision processes in doped noble liquids.
  • Rayleigh scattering in noble liquids.
  • New ideas on wavelength shifters.
  • VUV sensitive cryogenic detectors.
  • New ideas for large area optical detectors.

Dr. Carlos O. Escobar
Guest Editor

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Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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23 pages, 2553 KiB  
Article
Luminescence Response and Quenching Models for Heavy Ions of 0.5 keV to 1 GeV/n in Liquid Argon and Xenon
by Akira Hitachi
Instruments 2021, 5(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/instruments5010005 - 11 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2859
Abstract
Biexcitonic collision kinetics with prescribed diffusion in the ion track core have been applied for scintillation response due to heavy ions in liquid argon. The quenching factors q = EL/E, where E is the ion energy and EL [...] Read more.
Biexcitonic collision kinetics with prescribed diffusion in the ion track core have been applied for scintillation response due to heavy ions in liquid argon. The quenching factors q = EL/E, where E is the ion energy and EL is the energy expended for luminescence, for 33.5 MeV/n 18O and 31.9 MeV/n 36Ar ions in liquid Ar at zero field are found to be 0.73 and 0.46, compared with measured values of 0.59 and 0.46, respectively. The quenching model is also applied for 80–200 keV Pb recoils in α-decay, background candidates in direct dark matter searches, in liquid argon. Values obtained are ~0.09. A particular feature of Birks’ law has been found and exploited in evaluating the electronic quenching factor qel in liquid Xe. The total quenching factors qT for 0.5–20 keV Xe recoils needed for weakly interacting massive particle (WIMP) searches are estimated to be ~0.12–0.14, and those for Pb recoils of 103 and 169 keV are 0.08 and 0.09, respectively. In the calculation, the nuclear quenching factor qnc = Eη/E, where Eη is the energy available for the electronic excitation, is obtained by Lindhard theory and a semi-empirical theory by Ling and Knipp. The electronic linear energy transfer plays a key role. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Light Production and Detection in Noble Liquid Detectors)
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Review

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39 pages, 8822 KiB  
Review
A Review of Basic Energy Reconstruction Techniques in Liquid Xenon and Argon Detectors for Dark Matter and Neutrino Physics Using NEST
by Matthew Szydagis, Grant A. Block, Collin Farquhar, Alexander J. Flesher, Ekaterina S. Kozlova, Cecilia Levy, Emily A. Mangus, Michael Mooney, Justin Mueller, Gregory R. C. Rischbieter and Andrew K. Schwartz
Instruments 2021, 5(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/instruments5010013 - 18 Mar 2021
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 5188
Abstract
Detectors based upon the noble elements, especially liquid xenon as well as liquid argon, as both single- and dual-phase types, require reconstruction of the energies of interacting particles, both in the field of direct detection of dark matter (weakly interacting massive particles WIMPs, [...] Read more.
Detectors based upon the noble elements, especially liquid xenon as well as liquid argon, as both single- and dual-phase types, require reconstruction of the energies of interacting particles, both in the field of direct detection of dark matter (weakly interacting massive particles WIMPs, axions, etc.) and in neutrino physics. Experimentalists, as well as theorists who reanalyze/reinterpret experimental data, have used a few different techniques over the past few decades. In this paper, we review techniques based on solely the primary scintillation channel, the ionization or secondary channel available at non-zero drift electric fields, and combined techniques that include a simple linear combination and weighted averages, with a brief discussion of the application of profile likelihood, maximum likelihood, and machine learning. Comparing results for electron recoils (beta and gamma interactions) and nuclear recoils (primarily from neutrons) from the Noble Element Simulation Technique (NEST) simulation to available data, we confirm that combining all available information generates higher-precision means, lower widths (energy resolution), and more symmetric shapes (approximately Gaussian) especially at keV-scale energies, with the symmetry even greater when thresholding is addressed. Near thresholds, bias from upward fluctuations matters. For MeV-GeV scales, if only one channel is utilized, an ionization-only-based energy scale outperforms scintillation; channel combination remains beneficial. We discuss here what major collaborations use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Light Production and Detection in Noble Liquid Detectors)
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31 pages, 11400 KiB  
Review
Electroluminescence and Electron Avalanching in Two-Phase Detectors
by Alexey Buzulutskov
Instruments 2020, 4(2), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/instruments4020016 - 18 Jun 2020
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 3551
Abstract
Electroluminescence and electron avalanching are the physical effects used in two-phase argon and xenon detectors for dark matter searches and neutrino detection, to amplify the primary ionization signal directly in cryogenic noble-gas media. We review the concepts of such light and charge signal [...] Read more.
Electroluminescence and electron avalanching are the physical effects used in two-phase argon and xenon detectors for dark matter searches and neutrino detection, to amplify the primary ionization signal directly in cryogenic noble-gas media. We review the concepts of such light and charge signal amplification, including a combination thereof, both in the gas and in the liquid phase. Puzzling aspects of the physics of electroluminescence and electron avalanching in two-phase detectors are explained, and detection techniques based on these effects are described. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Light Production and Detection in Noble Liquid Detectors)
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