Department of Physics & Astronomy
University of New Mexico

Nuclear, Particle, Astroparticle and Cosmology (NUPAC) Seminars

The SPLENDOR experiment - Search for Particles of Light Dark Matter with Narrow-Gap Semiconductors

Presented by Aparajita Mazumdar (LANL)

The direct detection and study of dark matter, which constitutes 85% of the total mass in the Universe, remains one of the biggest open problems of modern physics. The present state of the art dark matter detectors for sub-GeV dark matter searches use standard semiconductors with band-gaps O(eV), such as Si or Ge, which are not sensitive to fermionic dark matter lighter than ~MeV and to bosonic dark matter lighter than ~eV. 

SPLENDOR (Search for Particles of Light Dark Matter with Narrow-Gap Semiconductors) proposes to use novel narrow band-gap semiconductors as ionization detectors to search for light dark matter in this previously unexplored mass regime. These materials, having band-gaps < O(100 meV), can be developed into low threshold detectors sensitive to sub-eV energy deposits when operated at mK temperatures. Low-noise cryogenic amplifiers based on High Electron Mobility Transistors are used to read out the charge signals, with an ultimate instrumentation goal of single electron-hole pair detection with charge-sensitive quantum sensors. 

In this seminar, I will give an overview of SPLENDOR, and discuss our recent progress in the growth and characterization of the narrow band-gap semiconductors, and the development and testing of the low-noise charge readout.

2:00 pm, Tuesday, September 19, 2023

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