A Caltech Library Service

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. doi:10.1103/physrevd.95.023013.

[img] PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


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 Paper
Hochberg, Yonit0000-0002-5045-2510
Lin, Tongyan0000-0003-4969-3285
Zurek, Kathryn M.0000-0002-2629-337X
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.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-AC02-05CH11231
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190613-164151011
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:96429
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:18 Jun 2019 14:29
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:20

Repository Staff Only: item control page