Duke Physics Colloquium: Solid-state imaging detectors for low-energy particle physics
"Solid-state imaging detectors for low-energy particle physics" - Millimeter-thick charge-coupled devices (CCDs) are outstanding particle detectors. Although initially developed for near-infrared astronomy, the low pixel noise also makes them the most sensitive detectors to signals from ionizing radiation. By virtue of their very low energy threshold and their unique capabilities for background identification based on their high spatial resolution, CCDs are poised to become the leading technology in the direct search for a wide variety of dark matter candidates with masses in the range 1 eV-10 GeV. This talk will focus on the motivation, status and prospects of DAMIC: a staged program of massive CCD arrays deployed deep underground to search for interactions of dark matter particles in the galaxy with nuclei and electrons in the silicon of the CCDs. Toward the end, I will argue that the background identification strategies developed for DAMIC can be extended to search for neutrinoless double beta decay with unprecedented sensitivity. I will introduce the ongoing R&D toward novel imaging detectors for this purpose, made from an active layer of amorphous Se (aSe) coupled to a complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) active pixel array. Faculty host: Kate Scholberg | Coffee and cookies will be served before the event in room 128.