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an Innovative Negative Ion TIme projection chamber for Underground dark Matter searches

Project description

Advanced time projection chamber detectors for direct observation of dark matter

The goal of the EU-funded INITIUM project is to further advance gaseous time projection chamber detectors for direct detection of prominent dark matter candidates. Thanks to recent advances in micro-pattern gas detector amplification and readout techniques, time projection chamber detectors are nowadays a mature technology for tonne-scale experiments. Their superior performance lies in their ability to discriminate neutrons and electrons, and their directional sensitivity and fiducialisation down to low energies. The project will target the development of the first 1 m3 negative-ion time projection chamber with gas electron multipliers amplification, optical readout with CMOS-based cameras, and photomultipliers for directional dark matter searches.


INITIUM: an Innovative Negative Ion TIme projection chamber for Underground dark Matter searches. INITIUM goal is to boost the advancement of gaseous Time Projection Chamber detectors in the Dark Matter (DM) searches field, one of the most compelling issues of todays fundamental physics. I believe this approach to be superior because of its active neutron/electron discrimination, directional and fiducialization capability down to low energies and versatility in terms of target material. Thanks to recent advances in Micro Pattern Gas Detectors amplification and improved readout techniques, TPCs are nowadays mature detectors to aim at developing a ton-scale experiment. INITIUM focuses on the development and operation of the first 1 m3 Negative Ion TPC with Gas Electron Multipliers amplification and optical readout with CMOS-based cameras and PMTs for directional DM searches at Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (LNGS). INITIUM will put new significant constraints in a DM WIMP-nucleon scattering parameter space still unexplored to these days, with a remarkable sensitivity down to 10-42-10-43 cm2 for Spin Independent coupling in the 1-10 GeV WIMP mass region. As a by-product, INITIUM will also precisely and simultaneously measure environmental fast and thermal neutron flux at LNGS, supplying crucial information for any present and future experiment in this location. Consequently, I will demonstrate the proof-of-principle and scalability of INITIUM approach towards the development of a ton-scale detector in the context of CYGNUS, an international collaboration (of which I am one of the Spokespersons and PIs) recently gathered together with the aim to establish a Galactic Directional Recoil Observatory, that can test the DM hypothesis beyond the Neutrino Floor and measure the coherent scatter of galactic neutrinos, generating a significant long-term impact on detection techniques for rare events searches.

Host institution

Net EU contribution
€ 1 109 705,00
67100 L'Aquila

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Sud Abruzzo L’Aquila
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 1 109 705,00

Beneficiaries (2)