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Directional detection of dark matter with two-dimensional targets

Hochberg, Yonit and Kahn, Yonatan and Lisanti, Mariangela and Tully, Christopher G. and Zurek, Kathryn M. (2017) Directional detection of dark matter with two-dimensional targets. Physics Letters B, 772 . pp. 239-246. ISSN 0370-2693. doi:10.1016/j.physletb.2017.06.051.

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We propose two-dimensional materials as targets for direct detection of dark matter. Using graphene as an example, we focus on the case where dark matter scattering deposits sufficient energy on a valence-band electron to eject it from the target. We show that the sensitivity of graphene to dark matter of MeV to GeV mass can be comparable, for similar exposure and background levels, to that of semiconductor targets such as silicon and germanium. Moreover, a two-dimensional target is an excellent directional detector, as the ejected electron retains information about the angular dependence of the incident dark matter particle. This proposal can be implemented by the PTOLEMY experiment, presenting for the first time an opportunity for directional detection of sub-GeV dark matter.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Hochberg, Yonit0000-0002-5045-2510
Kahn, Yonatan0000-0002-9379-1838
Zurek, Kathryn M.0000-0002-2629-337X
Additional Information:© 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license ( Received 22 April 2017, Revised 2 June 2017, Accepted 18 June 2017, Available online 23 June 2017. Funded by SCOAP3. We thank Timothy Berkelbach, Garnet Chan, Youngkuk Kim, Andrew Rappe, and Joe Subotnik for enlightening discussions regarding graphene. We also thank Snir Gazit, Adolfo Grushin, Roni Ilan, Aaron Manalaysay, Dan McKinsey, Antonio Polosa, Matt Pyle, and Zohar Ringel for conversations about light dark matter detection in various materials. YH is supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation under Grant No. PHY-1002399 and Grant No. PHY-1419008, the LHC Theory Initiative. ML is supported by the DOE under contract DESC0007968, as well as by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. CT is supported by the Simons Foundation (#377485) and John Templeton Foundation (#58851). KZ is supported by the DOE under contract DE-AC02-05CH11231.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-SC0007968
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Simons Foundation377485
John Templeton Foundation58851
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-AC02-05CH11231
Subject Keywords:Dark matter; Direct detection; Directional detection
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190613-164150767
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Official Citation:Yonit Hochberg, Yonatan Kahn, Mariangela Lisanti, Christopher G. Tully, Kathryn M. Zurek, Directional detection of dark matter with two-dimensional targets, Physics Letters B, Volume 772, 2017, Pages 239-246, ISSN 0370-2693, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:96427
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:18 Jun 2019 15:03
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:20

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