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Phys Rev Lett. 2014 May 2;112(17):171303. Epub 2014 May 1.

First measurement of the ionization yield of nuclear recoils in liquid argon.

Author information

1
Department of Nuclear Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California 94550, USA.
2
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California 94550, USA.
3
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California 94550, USA and Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, USA.
4
Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, USA.

Abstract

This Letter details a measurement of the ionization yield (Q(y)) of 6.7 keV(40)Ar atoms stopping in a liquid argon detector. The Q(y) of 3.6-6.3 detected e(-)/keV, for applied electric fields in the range 240-2130 V/cm, is encouraging for the use of this detector medium to search for the signals from hypothetical dark matter particle interactions and from coherent elastic neutrino-nucleus scattering. A significant dependence of Q(y) on the applied electric field is observed and explained in the context of ion recombination.

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