QUEST-DMC: Background Modelling and Resulting Heat Deposit for a Superfluid Helium-3 Bolometer

S. Autti, A. Casey, N. Eng, N. Darvishi, P. Franchini, R. P. Haley, P. J. Heikkinen, A. Kemp, E. Leason, L. V. Levitin, J. Monroe, J. March-Russel, M. T. Noble, J. R. Prance, X. Rojas, T. Salmon, J. Saunders, R. Smith, M. D. Thompson, V. TsepelinS. M. West, L. Whitehead, K. Zhang, D. E. Zmeev

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We report the results of radioactivity assays and heat leak calculations for a range of common cryogenic materials, considered for use in the QUEST-DMC superfluid 3He dark matter detector. The bolometer, instrumented with nanomechanical resonators, will be sensitive to energy deposits from dark matter interactions. Events from radioactive decays and cosmic rays constitute a significant background and must be precisely modelled, using a combination of material screening and Monte Carlo simulations. However, the results presented here are of wider interest for experiments and quantum devices sensitive to minute heat leaks and spurious events, thus we present heat leak per unit mass or surface area for every material studied. This can inform material choices for other experiments, especially if underground operation is considered – where the radiogenic backgrounds will dominate even at shallow depths.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Low Temperature Physics
Early online date15 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 May 2024


  • Background
  • Bolometry
  • Dark matter
  • Superfluid helium

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