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An innovative bolometric Cherenkov-light detector for a double beta decay search


We present here an innovative cryogenic light detector capable to measure a few tens of eV signal thanks to the amplification assisted by the Neganov–Luke effect. The thermal signal boost in the presence of an electric field allows us to improve the signal-to-noise ratio reaching a baseline noise of around 20 eV. This device – coupled to an enriched 130TeO2 bolometer (435 g) – registered 160 eV Cherenkov light signal induced by 2615 keV 208Tl with a signal to noise ratio about 6:1. Since α particles emitted in decays of natural radionuclides do not produce the Cherenkov radiation, we were able to achieve an efficient α∕γ separation in the region of interest for neutrinoless double beta decay of 130Te (Q-value is 2527 keV). Specifically, a rejection factor of 99.9% for α particles was obtained with a 98.3% acceptance of β∕γ events. The achieved α rejection efficiency is required to reduce the dominant α background in the follow-up of the CUORE experiment (CUPID), a ton-scale bolometric search with particle identification.

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