Directional detection of dark matter with two-dimensional targets

Yonit Hochberg, Yonatan Kahn, Mariangela Lisanti, Christopher George Tully, Kathryn M. Zurek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


We propose two-dimensional materials as targets for direct detection of dark matter. Using graphene as an example, we focus on the case where dark matter scattering deposits sufficient energy on a valence-band electron to eject it from the target. We show that the sensitivity of graphene to dark matter of MeV to GeV mass can be comparable, for similar exposure and background levels, to that of semiconductor targets such as silicon and germanium. Moreover, a two-dimensional target is an excellent directional detector, as the ejected electron retains information about the angular dependence of the incident dark matter particle. This proposal can be implemented by the PTOLEMY experiment, presenting for the first time an opportunity for directional detection of sub-GeV dark matter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-246
Number of pages8
JournalPhysics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics
StatePublished - Sep 10 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


  • Dark matter
  • Direct detection
  • Directional detection


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