Exploring light dark matter with the DarkSPHERE spherical proportional counter electroformed underground at the Boulby Underground Laboratory

L. Balogh, C. Beaufort, M. Chapellier,E. C. Corcoran, J. -M. Coquillat, A. Dastgheibi-Fard, Y. Deng, D. Durnford, C. Garrah,G. Gerbier,I. Giomataris,G. Giroux, P. Gorel, M. Gros, P. Gros,O. Guillaudin,E. W. Hoppe,I. Katsioulas, F. Kelly,P. Knights, P. Lautridou,I. Manthos, R. D. Martin, J. Matthews,J. -F. Muraz, T. Neep, K. Nikolopoulos, P. O'Brien,M. -C. Piro, N. Rowe, D. Santos, G. Savvidis,I. Savvidis,F. Vazquez de Sola Fernandez, R. Ward, E. Banks, L. Hamaide, C. McCabe,K. Mimasu, S. Paling

PHYSICAL REVIEW D(2023)

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摘要
We present the conceptual design and the physics potential of DarkSPHERE, a proposed 3 m in diameter spherical proportional counter electroformed underground at the Boulby Underground Laboratory. This effort builds on the R&D performed and experience acquired by the NEWS-G Collaboration. DarkSPHERE is primarily designed to search for nuclear recoils from light dark matter in the 0.05-10 GeV mass range. Electroforming the spherical shell and the implementation of a shield based on pure water ensures a background level below 0.01 dru. These, combined with the proposed helium-isobutane gas mixture, will provide sensitivity to the spin-independent nucleon cross section of 2 x 10-41 o2 x 10-43 thorn cm2 for a dark matter mass of 0.1(1) GeV. The use of a hydrogen-rich gas mixture with a natural abundance of 13C provides sensitivity to spin-dependent nucleon cross sections more than two orders of magnitude below existing constraints for dark matter lighter than 1 GeV. The characteristics of the detector also make it suitable for searches of other dark matter signatures, including scattering of MeV-scale dark matter with electrons, and superheavy dark matter with masses around the Planck scale that leave extended ionization tracks in the detector.
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