Skipper-CCD sensors for the Oscura experiment: Requirements and preliminary tests

Brenda A. Cervantes-Vergara, Santiago Perez, Juan Estrada, Ana Botti, Claudio R. Chavez, Fernando Chierchie, Nathan Saffold, Alexis Aguilar-Arevalo, Fabricio Alcalde-Bessia, Nicolás Avalos, Oscar Baez, Daniel Baxter, Xavier Bertou, Carla Bonifazi, Gustavo Cancelo, Nuria Castelló-Mor, Alvaro E. Chavarria, Juan Manuel De Egea, Juan Carlos D'Olivo, Cyrus DreyerAlex Drlica-Wagner, Rouven Essig, Ezequiel Estrada, Erez Etzion, Paul Grylls, Guillermo Fernandez-Moroni, Marivi Fernández-Serra, Santiago Ferreyra, Stephen Holland, Agustín Lantero Barreda, Andrew Lathrop, Ian Lawson, Ben Loer, Steffon Luoma, Edgar Marrufo Villalpando, Mauricio Martinez Montero, Kellie McGuire, Jorge Molina, Sravan Munagavalasa, Danielle Norcini, Alexander Piers, Paolo Privitera, Dario Rodrigues, Richard Saldanha, Aman Singal, Radomir Smida, Miguel Sofo-Haro, Diego Stalder, Leandro Stefanazzi, Javier Tiffenberg, Michelangelo Traina, Sho Uemura, Pedro Ventura, Rocío Vilar Cortabitarte, Rachana Yajur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Oscura is a proposed multi-kg skipper-CCD experiment designed for a dark matter (DM) direct detection search that will reach unprecedented sensitivity to sub-GeV DM-electron interactions with its 10 kg detector array. Oscura is planning to operate at SNOLAB with 2070 m overburden, and aims to reach a background goal of less than one event in each electron bin in the 2-10 electron ionization-signal region for the full 30 kg-year exposure, with a radiation background rate of 0.01 dru.[1 dru (differential rate unit) corresponds to 1 event/kg/day/keV.] In order to achieve this goal, Oscura must address each potential source of background events, including instrumental backgrounds. In this work, we discuss the main instrumental background sources and the strategy to control them, establishing a set of constraints on the sensors' performance parameters. We present results from the tests of the first fabricated Oscura prototype sensors, evaluate their performance in the context of the established constraints and estimate the Oscura instrumental background based on these results.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberP08016
JournalJournal of Instrumentation
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2023


  • Dark Matter detectors (WIMPs, axions, etc.)
  • Photon detectors for UV, visible and IR photons (solid-state) (PIN diodes, APDs, Si-PMTs, G-APDs, CCDs, EBCCDs, EMCCDs, CMOS imagers, etc)
  • Solid state detectors
  • Very low-energy charged particle detectors

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Instrumentation
  • Mathematical Physics


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