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Scintillation time dependence and pulse shape discrimination in liquid argon



W. H. Lippincott, Kevin Coakley, D. Gastler, A. Hime, E. Kearns, D. N. McKinsey, J. A. Nikkel, L. C. Stonehill


Using a single-phase liquid argon detector with a signal yield of 4.85 photoelectrons per keV of electronic-equivalent recoil energy (keVee), we measure the scintillation time dependence of both electronic and nuclear recoils in liquid argon down to 5 keVee. We develop two methods of pulse shape discrimination to distinguish between electronic and nuclear recoils. Using one of these methods, we measure a background and statistics-limited level of electronic recoil contamination to be 7.6e-07 between 60 and 128 keVr for a nuclear recoil acceptance of 50%, with no nuclear recoil-like events above 72 keVr. Finally, we develop a maximum likelihood method of pulse shape discrimination using the measured scintillation time dependence and predict the sensitivity to WIMP-nucleon scattering in three configurations of a liquid argon dark matter detector.
Physical Review C (Nuclear Physics)


argon, electronic recoil, nuclear recoil, pulse shape discrimination, scintillation light, stochastic modeling, time dependence.


Lippincott, W. , Coakley, K. , Gastler, D. , Hime, A. , Kearns, E. , McKinsey, D. , Nikkel, J. and Stonehill, L. (2010), Scintillation time dependence and pulse shape discrimination in liquid argon, Physical Review C (Nuclear Physics) (Accessed July 23, 2024)


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Created March 1, 2010, Updated October 12, 2021