Design, characterization and installation of the NEXT-100 cathode and electroluminescence regions

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Abstract

NEXT-100 is currently being constructed at the Laboratorio Subterráneo de Canfranc in the Spanish Pyrenees and will search for neutrinoless double beta decay using a high-pressure gaseous time projection chamber (TPC) with 100 kg of xenon. Charge amplification is carried out via electroluminescence (EL) which is the process of accelerating electrons in a high electric field region causing secondary scintillation of the medium proportional to the initial charge. The NEXT-100 EL and cathode regions are made from tensioned hexagonal meshes of 1 m diameter. This paper describes the design, characterization, and installation of these parts for NEXT-100. Simulations of the electric field are performed to model the drift and amplification of ionization electrons produced in the detector under various EL region alignments and rotations. Measurements of the electrostatic breakdown voltage in air characterize performance under high voltage conditions and identify breakdown points. The electrostatic deflection of the mesh is quantified and fit to a first-principles mechanical model. Measurements were performed with both a standalone test EL region and with the NEXT-100 EL region before its installation in the detector. Finally, we describe the parts as installed in NEXT-100, following their deployment in Summer 2023.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberP02007
JournalJournal of Instrumentation
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2024

Keywords

  • Charge transport, multiplication and electroluminescence in rare gases and liquids
  • Detector design and construction technologies and materials
  • Double-beta decay detectors
  • Time projection Chambers (TPC)

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Instrumentation
  • Mathematical Physics

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