Study on cosmogenic activation above ground for the DarkSide-20k project

, The Darkside Collaboration and Elersich, A. and Franchini, Paolo and Nowak, Jaroslaw (2023) Study on cosmogenic activation above ground for the DarkSide-20k project. Astroparticle Physics, 152. ISSN 0927-6505

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The activation of materials due to the exposure to cosmic rays may become an important background source for experiments investigating rare event phenomena. DarkSide-20k is a direct detection experiment for galactic dark matter particles, using a two-phase liquid argon time projection chamber filled with 49.7 tonnes (active mass) of Underground Argon (UAr) depleted in 39Ar. Here, the cosmogenic activity of relevant long-lived radioisotopes induced in the argon and other massive components of the set-up has been estimated; production of 120 t of radiopure UAr is foreseen. The expected exposure above ground and production rates, either measured or calculated, have been considered. From the simulated counting rates in the detector due to cosmogenic isotopes, it is concluded that activation in copper and stainless steel is not problematic. Activation of titanium, considered in early designs but not used in the final design, is discussed. The activity of 39Ar induced during extraction, purification and transport on surface, in baseline conditions, is evaluated to be 2.8% of the activity measured in UAr from the same source, and thus considered acceptable. Other products in the UAr such as 37Ar and 3H are shown to not be relevant due to short half-life and assumed purification methods.

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Astroparticle Physics
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12 Jul 2023 12:25
Last Modified:
28 Sep 2023 00:36