The scintillation and ionization yield of liquid xenon for nuclear recoils

P. Sorensen, A. Manzur, C. E. Dahl, J. Angle, E. Aprile, F. Arneodo, L. Baudis, A. Bernstein, A. Bolozdynya, L. C.C. Coelho, L. DeViveiros, A. D. Ferella, L. M.P. Fernandes, S. Fiorucci, R. J. Gaitskell, K. L. Giboni, R. Gomez, R. Hasty, L. Kastens, J. KwongJ. A.M. Lopes, N. Madden, A. Manalaysay, D. N. McKinsey, M. E. Monzani, K. Ni, U. Oberlack, J. Orboeck, G. Plante, R. Santorelli, J. M.F. dos Santos, P. Shagin, T. Shutt, S. Schulte, C. Winant, M. Yamashita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


XENON10 is an experiment designed to directly detect particle dark matter. It is a dual phase (liquid/gas) xenon time-projection chamber with 3D position imaging. Particle interactions generate a primary scintillation signal (S 1) and ionization signal (S 2), which are both functions of the deposited recoil energy and the incident particle type. We present a new precision measurement of the relative scintillation yield Leff and the absolute ionization yield Qy, for nuclear recoils in xenon. A dark matter particle is expected to deposit energy by scattering from a xenon nucleus. Knowledge of Leff is therefore crucial for establishing the energy threshold of the experiment; this in turn determines the sensitivity to particle dark matter. Our Leff measurement is in agreement with recent theoretical predictions above 15 keV nuclear recoil energy, and the energy threshold of the measurement is ∼ 4 keV. A knowledge of the ionization yield Qy is necessary to establish the trigger threshold of the experiment. The ionization yield Qy is measured in two ways, both in agreement with previous measurements and with a factor of 10 lower energy threshold.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-346
Number of pages8
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1 2009


  • Dark matter
  • Liquid xenon
  • Nuclear recoil
  • Scintillation quenching
  • Time-projection chamber

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


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