The dark matter interpretation of the DAMA modulation signal depends on the NaI(Tl) scintillation efficiency of nuclear recoils. Previous measurements for Na recoils have large discrepancies, especially in the DAMA/LIBRA modulation energy region. We report a quenching effect measurement of Na recoils in NaI(Tl) from 3 to 52 keVnr, covering the whole DAMA/LIBRA energy region for dark matter-Na scattering interpretations. By using a low-energy, pulsed neutron beam, a double time-of-flight technique, and pulse-shape discrimination methods, we obtained the most accurate measurement of this kind for NaI(Tl) to date. The results differ significantly from the DAMA reported values at low energies but fall between the other previous measurements. We present the implications of the new quenching results for the dark matter interpretation of the DAMA modulation signal.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics