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Background studies for the EDELWEISS dark matter experiment

Abstract : The EDELWEISS-II collaboration has completed a direct search for WIMP dark matter using cryogenic Ge detectors (400 g each) and 384 kg × days of effective exposure. A cross-section of 4.4×10-8 pb is excluded at 90% C. L. for a WIMP mass of 85 GeV. The next phase, EDELWEISS-III, aims to probe spin-independent WIMP-nucleon cross-sections down to a few ×10-9 pb. We present here the study of gamma and neutron background coming from radioactive decays in the set-up and shielding materials. We have carried out Monte Carlo simulations for the completed EDELWEISS-II setup with GEANT4 and normalised the expected background rates to the measured radioactivity levels (or their upper limits) of all materials and components. The expected gamma-ray event rate in EDELWEISS-II at 20-200 keV agrees with the observed rate of 82 events/kg/day within the uncertainties in the measured concentrations. The calculated neutron rate from radioactivity of 1.0-3.1 events (90% C. L.) at 20-200 keV in the EDELWEISS-II data together with the expected upper limit on the misidentified gamma-ray events (⩽0.9), surface betas (⩽0.3), and muon-induced neutrons (⩽0.7), do not contradict five observed events in nuclear recoil band. We have then extended the simulation framework to the EDELWEISS-III configuration with 800 g crystals, better material purity and additional neutron shielding inside the cryostat. The gamma-ray and neutron backgrounds in 24 kg fiducial mass of EDELWEISS-III have been calculated as 14-44 events/kg/day and 0.7-1.4 events per year, respectively. The results of the background studies performed in the present work have helped to select better purity components and improve shielding in EDELWEISS-III to further reduce the expected rate of background events in the next phase of the experiment.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - 4:32:27 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - 5:42:12 PM

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E. Armengaud, C. Augier, Alain Benoit, A. Benoît, L. Bergé, et al.. Background studies for the EDELWEISS dark matter experiment. Astroparticle Physics, Elsevier, 2013, 47, pp.1-9. ⟨10.1016/J.ASTROPARTPHYS.2013.05.004⟩. ⟨in2p3-00853054⟩

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