The ZEPLIN-III dark matter detector: Instrument design, manufacture and commissioning

D. Yu Akimov, G. J. Alner, H. M. Araújo, A. Bewick, C. Bungau, A. A. Burenkov, M. J. Carson, H. Chagani, V. Chepel, D. Cline, D. Davidge, E. Daw, J. Dawson, T. Durkin, B. Edwards, T. Gamble, C. Chag, R. J. Hollingworth, A. S. Howard, W. G. JonesM. Joshi, K. Mavrokoridis, E. Korolkova, A. Kovalenko, V. A. Kudryavtsev, I. S. Kuznetsov, T. Lawson, V. N. Lebedenko, J. D. Lewin, P. Lightfoot, A. Lindote, I. Liubarsky, M. I. Lopes, R. Lüscher, J. E. McMillan, P. Majewski, B. Morgan, D. Muna, A. S. Murphy, F. Neves, G. G. Nicklin, S. M. Paling, D. Muna, J. Pinto da Cunha, S. J S Plank, R. Preece, J. J. Quenby, M. Robinson, C. Silva, V. N. Solovov, N. J T Smith, P. F. Smith, N. J C Spooner, V. Stekhanov, T. J. Sumner, C. Thorne, D. R. Tovey, E. Tziaferi, R. J. Walker, H. Wang, J. White, F. Wolfs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


We present details of the technical design, manufacture and testing of the ZEPLIN-III dark matter experiment. ZEPLIN-III is a two-phase xenon detector which measures both the scintillation light and the ionisation charge generated in the liquid by interacting particles and radiation. The instrument design is driven by both the physics requirements and by the technology requirements surrounding the use of liquid xenon. These include considerations of key performance parameters, such as the efficiency of scintillation light collection, restrictions placed on the use of materials to control the inherent radioactivity levels, attainment of high vacuum levels and chemical contamination control. The successful solution has involved a number of novel design and manufacturing features which will be of specific use to future generations of direct dark matter search experiments as they struggle with similar and progressively more demanding requirements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-60
Number of pages15
JournalAstroparticle Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work has been funded by the UK Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC). We would like to acknowledge the superb copper machining achieved within the Imperial College Physics Department workshop led by R. Swain, and the development of new welding techniques by The Welding Institute.


  • Dark matter
  • Liquid xenon
  • Radiation detectors
  • WIMPs


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