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Open Access Publications from the University of California

TeO2 bolometers with Cherenkov signal tagging: Towards next-generation neutrinoless double-beta decay experiments

  • Author(s): Casali, N
  • Vignati, M
  • Beeman, JW
  • Bellini, F
  • Cardani, L
  • Dafinei, I
  • Di Domizio, S
  • Ferroni, F
  • Gironi, L
  • Nagorny, S
  • Orio, F
  • Pattavina, L
  • Pessina, G
  • Piperno, G
  • Pirro, S
  • Rusconi, C
  • Schäffner, K
  • Tomei, C
  • et al.

© 2014, The Author(s). CUORE, an array of 988 TeO2 bolometers, is about to be one of the most sensitive experiments searching for neutrinoless double-beta decay. Its sensitivity could be further improved by removing the background from α radioactivity. A few years ago it was pointed out that the signal from $$\beta $$βs can be tagged by detecting the emitted Cherenkov light, which is not produced by αs. In this paper we confirm this possibility. For the first time we measured the Cherenkov light emitted by a CUORE crystal, and found it to be 100 eV at the Q-value of the decay. To completely reject the α background, we compute that one needs light detectors with baseline noise below 20 eV RMS, a value which is 3–4 times smaller than the average noise of the bolometric light detectors we are using. We point out that an improved light detector technology must be developed to obtain TeO2 bolometric experiments able to probe the inverted hierarchy of neutrino masses.

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