Understanding NaI(Tl) crystal background for dark matter searches [IMA]


We have developed ultra-low-background NaI(Tl) crystals to reproduce the DAMA results with the ultimate goal of achieving purity levels that are comparable to or better than those of the DAMA/LIBRA crystals. Even though the achieved background level does not approach that of DAMA/LIBRA, it is crucial to have a quantitative understanding of the backgrounds. We describe the contributions of background sources quantitatively by performing Geant4 Monte Carlo simulations that are fitted to the measured data to quantify the unknown fractions of the background compositions. The overall simulated background spectrum well describes the measured data with a 9.16-kg NaI(Tl) crystal and shows that the background sources are dominated by surface $^{210}$Pb and internal $^{40}$K in the 2 to 6-keV energy interval, which produce 2.31 counts/day/keV/kg (dru) and 0.48 dru, respectively.

Read this paper on arXiv…

G. Adhikari, P. Adhikari, C. Ha, et. al.
Tue, 7 Mar 17

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