Electronic and optical properties of liquid xenon for particle detection
IDPASC Portugal - PHD Programme 2019
2019 / 2020
Experimental Particle Physics
Universidade de Coimbra
Laboratório de Instrumentação e Física Experimental de Partículas
Quite a number of experiments in particle and astroparticle physics are using or planning to use noble liquid detectors given their outstanding electronic and optical properties. Among those experiments one can mention direct dark matter searches, search for neultrinoless double beta decay, proton decay, flavour violation in muon decay, neutrino physics. Detectors based on liquefied noble gases can provide high energy resolution and excellent tracking capabilities and, at the low energy end, can reach sensitivity to a single electron created in the liquid by a passing through particle. It is the possibility of simultaneous detection of scintillation light and ionisation electrons from a particle track, but above all the possibility to extract these electrons from the liquid to gas, that make noble liquids so special. In order to push the detectors to the limit of their capabilities, on need to understand in details the physical processes that a particle triggers in the medium like liquid xenon or argon. Although a great effort has been done in this direction, one can identify some lacunae in our understanding that are important to be filled. It is therefore proposed to the candidate to carry out laboratory studies of electronic and optical properties of liquid xenon (and eventually liquid argon).