Low background x-ray detection with micromegas for axion research
Yıldız, Süleyman Cenk
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CitationAUNE, S., CASTEL, J.F., DAFNI, T., DAVENPORT, M., FANOURAKIS, G., FERRE-RIBAS, E., et. al. (2014). Low background x-ray detection with micromegas for axion research. Journal of Instrumentation, Volume 9. pp. 1-24. http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1748-0221/9/01/P01001.
Axion helioscopes aim at the detection of solar axions through their conversion into x-rays in laboratory magnetic fields. The use of low background x-ray detectors is an essential component contributing to the sensitivity of these searches. Here we review the recent advances on Micromegas detectors used in the CERN Axion Solar Telescope (CAST) and proposed for the future International Axion Observatory (IAXO). The most recent Micromegas setups in CAST have achieved background levels of 1 . 5 x 10(6) keV(-1) cm(-2) s(-1), a factor of more than 100 lower than the ones obtained by the first generation of CAST detectors. This improvement is due to the development of active and passive shielding techniques, offline discrimination techniques allowed by highly granular readout patterns, as well as the use of radiopure detector components. The status of the intensive R&D to reduce the background levels will be described, including the operation of replica detectors in test benches and the detailed Geant4 simulation of the detector setup and the detector response, which has allowed the progressive understanding of background origins. The best levels currently achieved in a test setup operating in the Canfranc Underground Laboratory (LSC) are as low as similar to 10(7) keV(-1) cm(-2) s(-1), showing the good prospects of this technology for application in the future IAXO.