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Cryogenic Dark Matter Search . Current Results and Future Background Discrimination – Cathy Bailey

Date: Tue. May 5th, 2009, 11:30 am-12:30 pm
Location: Rockefeller 221

The Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) is searching for Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) with cryogenic germanium particle detectors. These detectors discriminate between nuclear recoil candidate and electron recoil background events by collecting both phonon and ionization energy from recoils in the detector crystals. The CDMS II experiment has completed analysis of the first data run with 30 semiconductor detectors at the Soudan Underground Laboratory resulting in a world leading WIMP-nucleon spin-independent cross section limit for WIMP masses above 44 GeV/c2. As CDMS aims to achieve greater WIMP sensitivity, it is necessary to increase the detector mass and discrimination between signal and background events. Incomplete ionization collection results in the largest background in the CDMS detectors as this causes electron recoil background interactions to appear as false candidate events. Two primary causes of incomplete ionization collection are surface and bulk trapping. Recent work has been focused on reducing surface trapping through the modification of fabrication methods for future detectors. Analyzing data taken with test devices has shown that hydrogen passivation of the amorphous silicon blocking layer worsens surface trapping. Other data has shown that the iron-ion implantation used to lower the critical temperature of the tungsten transition-edge sensors causes a degradation of the ionization collection. Using selective implantation on future detectors may improve ionization collection for events near the phonon side detector surface. Bulk trapping is minimized by neutralizing ionized lattice impurities. Detector investigations at testing facilities and in situ at the experimental site have provided methods to optimize the neutralization process and monitor running conditions to maintain full ionization collection. A discussion of the current world leading results and work to reduce incomplete ionization collection will be presented.

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