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Dark matter direct detection in materials with spin-orbit coupling

Chen, Hsiao-Yi and Mitridate, Andrea and Trickle, Tanner and Zhang, Zhengkang and Bernardi, Marco and Zurek, Kathryn M. (2022) Dark matter direct detection in materials with spin-orbit coupling. Physical Review D, 106 (1). Art. No. 015024. ISSN 2470-0010. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.106.015024.

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Semiconductors with O(meV) band gaps have been shown to be promising targets to search for sub-MeV mass dark matter (DM). In this paper we focus on a class of materials where such narrow band gaps arise naturally as a consequence of spin-orbit coupling (SOC). Specifically, we are interested in computing DM-electron scattering and absorption rates in these materials using state-of-the-art density functional theory techniques. To do this, we extend the DM interaction rate calculation to include SOC effects which necessitates a generalization to spin-dependent wave functions. We apply our new formalism to calculate limits for several DM benchmark models using an example ZrTe₅ target and show that the inclusion of SOC can substantially alter projected constraints.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Chen, Hsiao-Yi0000-0003-1962-5767
Mitridate, Andrea0000-0003-2898-5844
Trickle, Tanner0000-0003-1371-4988
Zhang, Zhengkang0000-0001-8305-5581
Bernardi, Marco0000-0001-7289-9666
Zurek, Kathryn M.0000-0002-2629-337X
Additional Information:Published by the American Physical Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the published article’s title, journal citation, and DOI. Funded by SCOAP3. Received 15 March 2022; accepted 13 July 2022; published 25 July 2022. H.-Y. C. and M. B. were supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DMR-1750613. A. M., T. T., K. Z., and Z. Z. were supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of High Energy Physics, under Award No. DE-SC0021431, and the Quantum Information Science Enabled Discovery (QuantISED) for High Energy Physics (KA2401032). K. Z. was also supported by a Simons Investigator Award. Z. Z. was also supported by the U.S. Department of Energy under the Grant No. DE-SC0011702. The computations presented here were conducted in the Resnick High Performance Computing Center, a facility supported by Resnick Sustainability Institute at the California Institute of Technology.
Group:Resnick Sustainability Institute, Walter Burke Institute for Theoretical Physics
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-SC0021431
Department of Energy (DOE)KA2401032
Simons FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-SC0011702
Resnick Sustainability InstituteUNSPECIFIED
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Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220322-205046206
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:113991
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:23 Mar 2022 14:28
Last Modified:02 Aug 2022 16:36

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