Selected Publications
 

High-resolution for IAXO: MMC-based X-ray detectors

D. Unger, A. Abeln, C. Enss, A. Fleischmann, D. Hengstler, S. Kempf, L. Gastaldo

Axion helioscopes like the planned International Axion Observatory (IAXO) search for evidence of axions and axion-like particles (ALPs) from the Sun. A strong magnetic field is used to convert ALPs into photons via the generic ALP-photon coupling. To observe the resulting photons, X-ray detectors with low background and high efficiency are necessary. In addition, good energy resolution and low energy threshold would allow for investigating the ALP properties by studying the X-ray spectrum after its discovery. We propose to use low temperature metallic magnetic calorimeters (MMCs). Here we present the first detector system based on MMCs developed for IAXO and discuss the results of the characterization. The detector consists of a two-dimensional 64-pixel array covering an active area of 16mm2 with a fill factor of 93%. We achieve an average energy resolution of 6.1 eV FWHM allowing for energy thresholds below 100 eV. This detector is the first step towards a larger 1 cm2 array matching the IAXO X-ray optics. We determine the background rate for an unshielded detector system in the energy range between 1 keV and 10 keV to be 3.2(1) × 10-4 keV-1 cm-2 s-1from events acquired over 30 days. In the future, active and passive shields will significantly reduce the background induced by cosmic muons and natural radioactivity. Our results demonstrate that MMCs are a promising technology for helioscopes to discover and study ALPs.


J. Inst. 16, P06006 (2021)

doi: 10.1088/1748-0221/16/06/P06006

arxiv: arXiv:2010.15348