Direct Detection of Spin-(In)dependent Nuclear Scattering of Sub-GeV Dark Matter Using Molecular Excitations. (arXiv:1907.07682v1 [hep-ph])

Direct Detection of Spin-(In)dependent Nuclear Scattering of Sub-GeV Dark Matter Using Molecular Excitations. (arXiv:1907.07682v1 [hep-ph])
<a href="http://arxiv.org/find/hep-ph/1/au:+Essig_R/0/1/0/all/0/1">Rouven Essig</a>, <a href="http://arxiv.org/find/hep-ph/1/au:+Perez_Rios_J/0/1/0/all/0/1">Jes&#xfa;s P&#xe9;rez-R&#xed;os</a>, <a href="http://arxiv.org/find/hep-ph/1/au:+Ramani_H/0/1/0/all/0/1">Harikrishnan Ramani</a>, <a href="http://arxiv.org/find/hep-ph/1/au:+Slone_O/0/1/0/all/0/1">Oren Slone</a>

We propose a novel direct detection concept to search for dark matter with
100~keV to 100~MeV masses. Such dark matter can scatter off molecules in a gas
and transfer an $mathcal{O}(1)$ fraction of its kinetic energy to excite a
vibrational and rotational state. The excited ro-vibrational mode relaxes
rapidly and produces a spectacular multi-infrared-photon signal, which can be
observed with ultrasensitive photodetectors. We discuss in detail a gas target
consisting of carbon monoxide molecules, which enable efficient photon emission
even at a relatively low temperature and high vapor pressure. The emitted
photons have an energy in the range 180~meV to 265~meV. By mixing together
carbon monoxide molecules of different isotopes, including those with an odd
number of neutrons, we obtain sensitivity to both spin-independent interactions
and spin-dependent interactions with the neutron. We also consider hydrogen
fluoride, hydrogen bromide, and scandium hydride molecules, which each provide
sensitivity to spin-dependent interactions with the proton. The proposed
detection concept can be realized with near-term technology and allows for the
exploration of orders of magnitude of new dark matter parameter space.

We propose a novel direct detection concept to search for dark matter with
100~keV to 100~MeV masses. Such dark matter can scatter off molecules in a gas
and transfer an $mathcal{O}(1)$ fraction of its kinetic energy to excite a
vibrational and rotational state. The excited ro-vibrational mode relaxes
rapidly and produces a spectacular multi-infrared-photon signal, which can be
observed with ultrasensitive photodetectors. We discuss in detail a gas target
consisting of carbon monoxide molecules, which enable efficient photon emission
even at a relatively low temperature and high vapor pressure. The emitted
photons have an energy in the range 180~meV to 265~meV. By mixing together
carbon monoxide molecules of different isotopes, including those with an odd
number of neutrons, we obtain sensitivity to both spin-independent interactions
and spin-dependent interactions with the neutron. We also consider hydrogen
fluoride, hydrogen bromide, and scandium hydride molecules, which each provide
sensitivity to spin-dependent interactions with the proton. The proposed
detection concept can be realized with near-term technology and allows for the
exploration of orders of magnitude of new dark matter parameter space.

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