Anisotropic diffusion of electrons in liquid xenon with application to improving the sensitivity of direct dark matter searches

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Electron diffusion in a liquid xenon time projection chamber has recently been used to infer the z coordinate of a particle interaction, from the width of the electron signal. The goal of this technique is to reduce the background event rate by discriminating edge events from bulk events. Analyses of dark matter search data which employ it would benefit from increased longitudinal electron diffusion. We show that a significant increase is expected if the applied electric field is decreased. This observation is trivial to implement but runs contrary to conventional wisdom and practice. We also extract a first measurement of ... continued below

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Sorensen, P February 14, 2011.

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Electron diffusion in a liquid xenon time projection chamber has recently been used to infer the z coordinate of a particle interaction, from the width of the electron signal. The goal of this technique is to reduce the background event rate by discriminating edge events from bulk events. Analyses of dark matter search data which employ it would benefit from increased longitudinal electron diffusion. We show that a significant increase is expected if the applied electric field is decreased. This observation is trivial to implement but runs contrary to conventional wisdom and practice. We also extract a first measurement of the longitudinal diffusion coefficient, and confirm the expectation that electron diffusion in liquid xenon is highly anisotropic under typical operating conditions.

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PDF-file: 6 pages; size: 0.9 Mbytes

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  • Journal Name: Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, vol. 635, n/a, February 3, 2011, pp. 41; Journal Volume: 635

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  • Report No.: LLNL-JRNL-471078
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1022901
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc831786

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

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  • February 14, 2011

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  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Nov. 22, 2016, 7:07 p.m.

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Sorensen, P. Anisotropic diffusion of electrons in liquid xenon with application to improving the sensitivity of direct dark matter searches, article, February 14, 2011; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc831786/: accessed May 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.