UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Development of a single vacuum ultra-violet photon-sensing solution for nEXO Gallina, Giacomo


Silicon PhotoMultiplier (SiPM) technology represents an unprecedented attempt to create an ideal solid-state photon detector, combining the low-light detection capabilities of the previous device generations with all the benefits of a solid-state sensor. For this reason, large-scale low-background cryogenic experiments, such as the next-generation Enriched Xenon Observatory experiment (nEXO), are migrating to a SiPM-based light detection system. nEXO aims to probe the boundaries of the standard model of particle physics by searching for neutrino-less double beta decay of ¹³⁶Xe. The nEXO experiment follows the same detection concept as the EXO-200 experiment, but uses 5 tonnes of liquid xenon inside a vacuum cryostat that is expected to be located at SNOLAB, the Canadian underground science laboratory. Decays in the xenon produce both light and ionization and it is important to measure both to achieve sufficient energy resolution and thus background rejection. In particular, electrons from the ionization drift in an applied electric field toward anode pads where they are measured. The light flash is simultaneously detected by an array of SiPMs. The technical goal of the proposed thesis is to study different SiPMs characteristics in order to choose the best SiPM technology for the nEXO experiment. This thesis will also introduce new mathematical models to better understand Geiger mode properties of SiPMs in order to optimize them for the next generations of double beta decay and dark matter experiments.

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