Background Rejection in Two-Phase Xenon using Scintillation Pulse-Shape Discrimination for Neutrinoless Double-Beta Decay Searches

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Veenstra, Braeden Thomas




This work attempted to identify measurable differences in the pulse shapes of one and two electron scintillation events in liquid xenon, with the goal of developing a technique for improved background rejection in neutrinoless double-beta decay (0νββ) experiments. A system was constructed to generate one and two electron events using gamma rays from an external thorium-228 source. Sodium iodide counters were used to tag one and two electron events, which were produced from Compton scattering and pair-production of the thorium gamma respectively. A novel cryogenic compatible silicon photomultiplier was used to measure the light from scintillation events and it was demonstrated that the system could trigger on coincidence between the scintillation and event tag signals. No conclusions could be made on the timing structure of events, based on long decay times in the photomultiplier and electronics, and suggestions are made for future improvements.


Elementary Particles and High Energy




Carleton University

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