Direct detection of light dark matter and solar neutrinos via color center production in crystals

Ranny Budnik, Ori Cheshnovsky, Oren Slone, Tomer Volansky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We propose a new low-threshold direct-detection concept for dark matter and for coherent nuclear scattering of solar neutrinos, based on the dissociation of atoms and subsequent creation of color center type defects within a lattice. The novelty in our approach lies in its ability to detect single defects in a macroscopic bulk of material. This class of experiments features ultra-low energy thresholds which allows for the probing of dark matter as light as O(10) MeV through nuclear scattering. Another feature of defect creation in crystals is directional information, which presents as a spectacular signal and a handle on background reduction in the form of daily modulation of the interaction rate. We discuss the envisioned setup and detection technique, as well as background reduction. We further calculate the expected rates for dark matter and solar neutrinos in two example crystals for which available data exists, demonstrating the prospective sensitivity of such experiments. (c) 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-250
Number of pages9
JournalPhysics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics
StatePublished - 10 Jul 2018


  • Color center
  • Direct detection
  • Light dark matter
  • Solar neutrinos

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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