A liquid argon time projection chamber, constructed for the Argon Response to Ionization and Scintillation (ARIS) experiment, is exposed to the highly collimated and quasimonoenergetic LICORNE neutron beam at the Institut de Physique Nucléaire d’Orsay (IPNO) in order to study the scintillation response to nuclear and electronic recoils. An array of liquid scintillator detectors, arranged around the apparatus, tag scattered neutrons and select nuclear recoil energies in the [7, 120] keV energy range. The relative scintillation efficiency of nuclear recoils is measured to high precision at null field, and the ion-electron recombination probability is extracted for a range of applied electric fields. Single-scattered Compton electrons, produced by gammas emitted from the deexcitation of 7Li in coincidence with the beam pulse, along with calibration gamma sources, are used to extract the recombination probability as a function of energy and electron drift field. The ARIS results are compared with three recombination probability parametrizations (Thomas-Imel, Doke-Birks, and Paris), allowing for the definition of a fully comprehensive model of the liquid argon response to nuclear and electronic recoils down to the few-keV range. The constraints provided by ARIS to the liquid argon response at low energy allow the reduction of systematics affecting the sensitivity of dark matter search experiments based on liquid argon.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)