Light yield in DarkSide-10: A prototype two-phase argon TPC for dark matter searches

T. Alexander, D. Alton, K. Arisaka, H. O. Back, P. Beltrame, J. Benziger, G. Bonfini, A. Brigatti, J. Brodsky, L. Cadonati, F. Calaprice, A. Candela, H. Cao, P. Cavalcante, A. Chavarria, A. Chepurnov, D. Cline, A. G. Cocco, C. Condon, D. D'AngeloS. Davini, E. De Haas, A. Derbin, G. Di Pietro, I. Dratchnev, D. Durben, A. Empl, A. Etenko, A. Fan, G. Fiorillo, K. Fomenko, F. Gabriele, C. Galbiati, S. Gazzana, C. Ghag, C. Ghiano, A. Goretti, L. Grandi, M. Gromov, M. Guan, C. Guo, G. Guray, E. V. Hungerford, Al Ianni, An Ianni, A. Kayunov, K. Keeter, C. Kendziora, S. Kidner, V. Kobychev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


As part of the DarkSide program of direct dark matter searches using two-phase argon TPCs, a prototype detector with an active volume containing 10 kg of liquid argon, DarkSide-10, was built and operated underground in the Gran Sasso National Laboratory in Italy. A critically important parameter for such devices is the scintillation light yield, as photon statistics limits the rejection of electron-recoil backgrounds by pulse shape discrimination. We have measured the light yield of DarkSide-10 using the readily-identifiable full-absorption peaks from gamma ray sources combined with single-photoelectron calibrations using low-occupancy laser pulses. For gamma lines of energies in the range 122-1275 keV, we get light yields averaging 8.887±0.003(stat) ±0.444(sys) p.e./keVee. With additional purification, the light yield measured at 511 keV increased to 9.142±0.006(stat) p.e./keVee.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-51
Number of pages8
JournalAstroparticle Physics
StatePublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge support from the NSF (US, Grants PHY-0919363, PHY-1004072, and associated collaborative Grants), DOE (US, Contract Nos. DE-FG02–91ER40671 and DE-AC02–07CH11359), and the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (Italy).


  • Argon Time projection chamber
  • Dark matter
  • Light yield
  • Photoelectron yield


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