QUEST-DMC superfluid 3He detector for sub-GeV dark matter

S. Autti, A. Casey, N. Eng, N. Darvishi, P. Franchini, R. P. Haley, P. J. Heikkinen, A. Jennings, 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. ThompsonV. Tsepelin, S. M. West, L. Whitehead, V. V. Zavjalov, D. E. Zmeev

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The focus of dark matter searches to date has been on Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) in the GeV/c2-TeV/cmass range. The direct, indirect and collider searches in this mass range have been extensive but ultimately unsuccessful, providing a strong motivation for widening the search outside this range. Here we describe a new concept for a dark matter experiment, employing superfluid 3He as a detector for dark matter that is close to the mass of the proton, of order 1 GeV/c2. The QUEST-DMC detector concept is based on quasiparticle detection in a bolometer cell by a nanomechanical resonator. In this paper we develop the energy measurement methodology and detector response model, simulate candidate dark matter signals and expected background interactions, and calculate the sensitivity of such a detector. We project that such a detector can reach sub-eV nuclear recoil energy threshold, opening up new windows on the parameter space of both spin-dependent and spin-independent interactions of light dark matter candidates.
Original languageEnglish
Article number248
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Physical Journal C
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2024

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