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Absorption of light dark matter in semiconductors

Hochberg, Yonit and Lin, Tongyan and Zurek, Kathryn M. (2017) Absorption of light dark matter in semiconductors. Physical Review D, 95 (2). Art. No. 023013. ISSN 2470-0010. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20190613-164151011

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Abstract

Semiconductors are by now well-established targets for direct detection of MeV to GeV dark matter via scattering off electrons. We show that semiconductor targets can also detect significantly lighter dark matter via an absorption process. When the dark matter mass is above the band gap of the semiconductor (around an eV), absorption proceeds by excitation of an electron into the conduction band. Below the band gap, multiphonon excitations enable absorption of dark matter in the 0.01 eV to eV mass range. Energetic dark matter particles emitted from the sun can also be probed for masses below an eV. We derive the reach for absorption of a relic kinetically mixed dark photon or pseudoscalar in germanium and silicon, and show that existing direct detection results already probe new parameter space. With only a moderate exposure, low-threshold semiconductor target experiments can exceed current astrophysical and terrestrial constraints on sub-keV bosonic dark matter.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
https://doi.org/10.1103/physrevd.95.023013DOIArticle
https://arxiv.org/abs/1608.01994arXivDiscussion Paper
Additional Information:© 2017 American Physical Society. (Received 8 September 2016; published 31 January 2017) We thank Ritoban Basu Thakur, Alvaro Chavarria, Alan Robinson, and Matt Pyle for useful discussions. YH is supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation under Grant No. PHY-1002399. KZ and TL are supported by the DoE under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231. TL is also supported by NSF Grant No. PHY-1316783.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSFPHY-1002399
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-AC02-05CH11231
NSFPHY-1316783
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190613-164151011
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20190613-164151011
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:96429
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:18 Jun 2019 14:29
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 21:22

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