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Multi-channel direct detection of light dark matter: theoretical framework

Trickle, Tanner and Zhang, Zhengkang and Zurek, Kathryn M. and Inzani, Katherine and Griffin, Sinéad M. (2020) Multi-channel direct detection of light dark matter: theoretical framework. Journal of High Energy Physics, 2020 (3). Art. No. 36. ISSN 1029-8479. doi:10.1007/jhep03(2020)036.

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We present a unified theoretical framework for computing spin-independent direct detection rates via various channels relevant for sub-GeV dark matter — nuclear re- coils, electron transitions and single phonon excitations. Despite the very different physics involved, in each case the rate factorizes into the particle-level matrix element squared, and an integral over a target material- and channel-specific dynamic structure factor. We show how the dynamic structure factor can be derived in all three cases following the same procedure, and extend previous results in the literature in several aspects. For electron transitions, we incorporate directional dependence and point out anisotropic target materials with strong daily modulation in the scattering rate. For single phonon excitations, we present a new derivation of the rate formula from first principles for generic spin-independent couplings, and include the first calculation of phonon excitation through electron couplings. We also discuss the interplay between single phonon excitations and nuclear recoils, and clarify the role of Umklapp processes, which can dominate the single phonon production rate for dark matter heavier than an MeV. Our results highlight the complementarity between various search channels in probing different kinematic regimes of dark matter scattering, and provide a common reference to connect dark matter theories with ongoing and future direct detection experiments.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Trickle, Tanner0000-0003-1371-4988
Zhang, Zhengkang0000-0001-8305-5581
Zurek, Kathryn M.0000-0002-2629-337X
Inzani, Katherine0000-0002-3117-3188
Griffin, Sinéad M.0000-0002-9943-4866
Additional Information:© 2020 The Authors. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits any use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited. Received: October 30, 2019; Revised: January 28, 2020; Accepted: February 8, 2020; Published: March 6, 2020. We thank Thomas Harrelson, Simon Knapen, and Matt Pyle for useful discussion. T.T. and K.Z. are supported by the Quantum Information Science Enabled Discovery (QuantISED) for High Energy Physics (KA2401032) at LBNL. Z.Z. is supported by the NSF Grant PHY-1638509 and DoE Contract DE-AC02-05CH11231. Computational resources were provided by the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center and the Molecular Foundry, DoE Office of Science User Facilities supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231. The work performed at the Molecular Foundry was supported by the Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, of the U.S. Department of Energy under the same contract number. T.T. and Z.Z. would like to thank the Walter Burke Institute for Theoretical Physics for hospitality during the completion of this work.
Group:TAPIR, Walter Burke Institute for Theoretical Physics
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Quantum Information Science Enabled Discovery for High Energy PhysicsKA2401032
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-AC02-05CH11231
Subject Keywords:Dark matter, Other experiments
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200310-092609366
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Trickle, T., Zhang, Z., Zurek, K.M. et al. Multi-channel direct detection of light dark matter: theoretical framework. J. High Energ. Phys. 2020, 36 (2020).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:101815
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:10 Mar 2020 18:01
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:06

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