CORDIS
EU research results

CORDIS

English EN
Towards a multi-ton xenon observatory for astroparticle physics

Towards a multi-ton xenon observatory for astroparticle physics

Objective

Dark matter is one of the greatest mysteries in the Cosmos, as its intrinsic nature is largely unknown. The identification and characterization of dark matter particles is a major endeavor in physics. XENOSCOPE will be a unique project focussed on essential, cutting-edge research towards a multi-ton dark matter detector using liquid xenon (LXe) as target material. With its low energy threshold, ultra-low backgrounds and excellent energy resolution, a LXe observatory will be highly sensitive to other rare interactions, such as from solar and supernova neutrinos, double beta decays of 136Xe, as well as from axions and axion-like particles. To design and construct a 50 t (40 t in the time projection chamber, TPC) detector, a number of critical technological challenges must first be addressed. Fundamental aspects are related to the design of the TPC, including the identification of new photosensors, the optimization of the light and charge collection (hence the energy threshold and resolution), and the minimization of radioactive backgrounds. XENOSCOPE will address all these aspects through a number of small, medium-size and a full-scale (in the z-coordinate of the TPC) prototypes. The goal is to specify the required input for the technical design of the 50 t detector, to be realized by the DARWIN consortium which the PI leads. Arrays of VUV-sensitive SiPMs will be studied as novel light sensors, and a 4-π photosensor coverage TPC will be constructed for the first time. Signal detection will be optimized for both low and high-energy readout, thus drastically increasing the dynamic range of a LXe-TPC. Low-background materials will be identified and characterized not only for the photosensors and their read-out, but for all the components of the detector. Finally, a full scale TPC in the z-dimension, 2.6 m in height, will be designed, built and operated and electron drift and extraction into the vapor phase over such large distances for the first time demonstrated.
Leaflet | Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors, Credit: EC-GISCO, © EuroGeographics for the administrative boundaries

Host institution

UNIVERSITAT ZURICH

Address

Ramistrasse 71
8006 Zurich

Switzerland

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 3 344 108

Beneficiaries (1)

Sort alphabetically

Sort by EU Contribution

Expand all

UNIVERSITAT ZURICH

Switzerland

EU Contribution

€ 3 344 108

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 742789

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 October 2017

  • End date

    30 September 2022

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 3 344 108

  • EU contribution

    € 3 344 108

Hosted by:

UNIVERSITAT ZURICH

Switzerland