Avalanche photodiode for liquid xenon scintillation: Quantum efficiency and gain

P. Shagin, R. Gomez, U. Oberlack, P. Cushman, B. Sherwood, M. McClish, R. Farrell

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We report on measurements with a large area, silicon Avalanche Photodiode (APD) as photodetector for the ultraviolet scintillation light of liquid xenon (LXe) at temperatures between 167 and 188 K. The maximum gain of the APD for the scintillation light from a 210Po α-source in LXe was 5.3 × 103. Based on the geometry of the setup, the quantum efficiency of the APD was measured at 34% ± 5% at the mean scintillation wavelength of 178 nm. The high quantum efficiency and high gain of the APD make it an attractive alternative UV photon sensor to PMTs for LXe detectors, especially for experiments requiring high light yields, such as dark matter searches for Weakly Interacting Massive Particles, or a Compton telescope in MeV γ-ray astronomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberP01005
JournalJournal of Instrumentation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009


  • Gamma detectors
  • Liquid detectors
  • Photon detectors for UV, visible and IR photons (solid-state)
  • Time projection chambers


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