Design Constraints for a WIMP Dark Matter and pp Solar Neutrino Liquid Neon Scintillation Detector

M. G. Boulay, A. Hime, J. Lidgard

Submitted on 18 October 2004


Detailed Monte-Carlo simulations were used to evaluate the performance of a liquid neon scintillation detector for dark matter and low-energy solar neutrino interactions. A maximum-likelihood event vertex fitter including PMT time information was developed, which significantly improves position resolution over spatial-only algorithms, and substantially decreases the required detector size and achievable analysis energy threshold. The ultimate sensitivity to WIMP dark matter and the pp flux uncertainty are evaluated as a function of detector size. The dependence on the neon scintillation and PMT properties are evaluated. A 300 cm radius detector would allow a ~13 keV threshold, a pp flux uncertainty of ~1%, and limits on the spin-independent WIMP-nucleon cross-section of ~10^{-46} cm^2 for a 100 GeV WIMP, using commercially available PMTs. Detector response calibration and background requirements for a precision pp measurement are defined. Internal radioactivity requirements for uranium, thorium, and krypton are specified, and it is shown that the PMT data could be used for an in-situ calibration of the troublesome krypton-85. A set of measurements of neon scintillation properties and PMT characteristics are outlined which will be needed in order to evaluate feasibility and fully optimize the design of a neon-based detector.


Comment: 27 pages, 43 figures

Subjects: Nuclear Experiment; Astrophysics