Liquid noble based particle detectors often use the organic wavelength shifter 1,1,4,4-tetraphenyl-1,3-butadiene (TPB) which shifts UV scintillation light to the visible regime, facilitating its detection, but which also can scintillate on its own. Dark matter searches based on this type of detector commonly rely on pulse-shape discrimination (PSD) for background mitigation. Alpha-induced scintillation therefore represents a possible background source in dark matter searches. The timing characteristics of this scintillation determine whether this background can be mitigated through PSD. We have therefore characterized the pulse shape and light yield of alpha induced TPB scintillation at temperatures ranging from 300 K down to 4 K, with special attention given to liquid noble gas temperatures. We find that the pulse shapes and light yield depend strongly on temperature. In addition, the significant contribution of long time constants above ∼50 K provides an avenue for discrimination between alpha decay events in TPB and nuclear-recoil events in noble liquid detectors.

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Keywords Cryogenic detectors, Noble liquid detectors (scintillation, ionization, double-phase), Scintillators, scintillation and light emission processes (solid, gas and liquid scintillators)
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Journal Journal of Instrumentation
Veloce, L.M. (L. M.), Kuźniak, M. (M.), Stefano, P.C.F.D. (P.C.F. Di), Noble, A.J. (A. J.), Boulay, M.G, Nadeau, P. (P.), … Schreiner, K. (K.). (2016). Temperature dependence of alpha-induced scintillation in the 1,1,4,4-tetraphenyl-1,3-butadiene wavelength shifter. Journal of Instrumentation, 11(6). doi:10.1088/1748-0221/11/06/P06003