We extend the study of the performance of a prototype two-phase liquid xenon WIMP dark matter detector to recoil energies below 20 keV. We demonstrate a new method for obtaining the best estimate of the energies of events using a calibrated sum of charge and light signals and introduce the corresponding discrimination parameter, giving its mean value at 4 kV/cm for electron and nuclear recoils up to 300 and 100 keV, respectively. We show that fluctuations in recombination limit discrimination for most energies, and reveal an improvement in discrimination below 20 keV due to a surprising increase in ionization yield for low energy electron recoils. This improvement is crucial for a high-sensitivity dark matter search.
- dark matter
- liquid xenon
- time projection chamber
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics