The Limiting Background in a Detector Testing Facility for SuperCDMS at SNOLAB

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Liu, Shuo
SuperCDMS is the next generation of the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search experiment (CDMS), aimed at the detection of the Weakly Interacting dark matter Particles (WIMPs) with the use of phonon and ionization signals in germanium detectors operated at about 40 mK. The current experiment is operating in the Soudan underground laboratory in northern Minnesota. However, due to limitation of cosmic ray muons, in the next stage of SuperCDMS, the whole experiment will be moved to a deeper site at SNOLAB. This could reduce the influence of extraterrestrial high energy particles to a negligible level, leaving the natural radioactivity locally existing in the laboratory wall rock as the dominating background source. Along with this relocation, newly designed detectors will be implemented to further increase the sensitivity. The prototype of this kind of detector has been manufactured, but it needs to be carefully tested prior to its formal application. To thoroughly examine its performance, especially in an environment that is less affected by cosmic rays, a new detector testing facility is to be built underground at SNOLAB (STF) surrounded by a water tank serving as the passive shield against the natural radioactivity. A series of Monte Carlo simulations have been performed to investigate the effectiveness of the water tank shield, the background level and also the energy spectra of events in the detectors. The goal of 1 neutron/day and 1 Hz of gammas for external sources can be achieved.
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