Using a wavelength shifter to enhance the sensitivity of liquid xenon dark matter detectors

Alexander I. Bolozdynya, Adam W. Bradley, Pavel P. Brusov, C. Eric Dahl, John Kwong, Tom Shutt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Liquid xenon dark matter detectors have been successfully employed to search for WIMPs, a proposed dark matter candidate. Increasing the scintillation wavelength from 175 nm to 300-400 nm can increase light collection and consequently improve sensitivity to dark matter. Such a shift increases the reflectivity of common reflector materials, decreases the amount of Rayleigh scattering and boosts the quantum efficiency of photomultiplier tubes. In this paper, we show that depositing p-terphenyl (p-TP) solid wavelength shifter on PTFE reflectors and the entrance window of a photomultiplier tube enhanced light-collection efficiency by 21%. We also observed an anti-correlation between the liquid xenon temperature and electron drift length, indicating that the p-TP dissolves into liquid xenon with a temperature dependent solubility. Possible ways to solve the drift length problem are discussed in the paper.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4545147
Pages (from-to)1453-1457
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Dark matter
  • Liquid xenon
  • P-terphenyl
  • Scintillation
  • Time projection chamber
  • Wavelength shifting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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