Conceptual design and simulation of a water Cherenkov muon veto for the XENON1T experiment

E. Aprile, F. Agostini, M. Alfonsi, K. Arisaka, F. Arneodo, M. Auger, C. Balan, P. Barrow, L. Baudis, B. Bauermeister, A. Behrens, P. Beltrame, K. Bokeloh, A. Breskin, A. Brown, E. Brown, S. Bruenner, G. Bruno, R. Budnik, J. M.R. CardosoA. P. Colijn, H. Contreras, J. P. Cussonneau, M. P. Decowski, E. Duchovni, S. Fattori, A. D. Ferella, W. Fulgione, M. Garbini, C. Geis, L. W. Goetzke, C. Grignon, E. Gross, W. Hampel, R. Itay, F. Kaether, G. Kessler, A. Kish, H. Landsman, R. F. Lang, M. Le Calloch, D. Lellouch, L. Levinson, C. Levy, S. Lindemann, M. Lindner, J. A.M. Lopes, K. Lung, A. Lyashenko, S. Macmullin, T. Marrodán Undagoitia, J. Masbou, F. V. Massoli, D. Mayani Paras, A. J.Melgarejo Fernandez, Y. Meng, M. Messina, B. Miguez, A. Molinario, G. Morana, M. Murra, J. Naganoma, U. Oberlack, S. E.A. Orrigo, E. Pantic, R. Persiani, F. Piastra, J. Pienaar, G. Plante, N. Priel, S. Reichard, C. Reuter, A. Rizzo, S. Rosendahl, J. M.F.Dos Santos, G. Sartorelli, S. Schindler, J. Schreiner, M. Schumann, L. Scotto Lavina, M. Selvi, P. Shagin, H. Simgen, A. Teymourian, D. Thers, A. Tiseni, G. Trinchero, O. Vitells, H. Wang, M. Weber, C. Weinheimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


XENON is a dark matter direct detection project, consisting of a time projection chamber (TPC) filled with liquid xenon as detection medium. The construction of the next generation detector, XENON1T, is presently taking place at the Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (LNGS) in Italy. It aims at a sensitivity to spin-independent cross sections of 2·10-47 c 2 for WIMP masses around 50 GeV2, which requires a background reduction by two orders of magnitude compared to XENON100, the current generation detector. An active system that is able to tag muons and muon-induced backgrounds is critical for this goal. A water Cherenkov detector of ∼ 10 m height and diameter has been therefore developed, equipped with 8 inch photomultipliers and cladded by a reflective foil. We present the design and optimization study for this detector, which has been carried out with a series of Monte Carlo simulations. The muon veto will reach very high detection efficiencies for muons (>99.5%) and showers of secondary particles from muon interactions in the rock (>70%). Similar efficiencies will be obtained for XENONnT, the upgrade of XENON1T, which will later improve the WIMP sensitivity by another order of magnitude. With the Cherenkov water shield studied here, the background from muon-induced neutrons in XENON1T is negligible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberP11006
JournalJournal of Instrumentation
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Cherenkov and transition radiation
  • Cherenkov detectors
  • Dark Matter detectors (WIMPs, axions, etc.)
  • Detector modelling and simulations I (interaction of radiation with matter
  • interaction of hadrons with matter, etc)
  • interaction of photons with matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematical Physics
  • Instrumentation

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    Aprile, E., Agostini, F., Alfonsi, M., Arisaka, K., Arneodo, F., Auger, M., Balan, C., Barrow, P., Baudis, L., Bauermeister, B., Behrens, A., Beltrame, P., Bokeloh, K., Breskin, A., Brown, A., Brown, E., Bruenner, S., Bruno, G., Budnik, R., ... Weinheimer, C. (2014). Conceptual design and simulation of a water Cherenkov muon veto for the XENON1T experiment. Journal of Instrumentation, 9(11), [P11006].