A novel cryogenic VUV spectrofluorometer for the characterization of wavelength shifters

Andreas Leonhardt, Maximilian Goldbrunner, Brennan Hackett, Stefan Schönert

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We present a novel cryogenic VUV spectrofluorometer designed to characterize wavelength shifters (WLS) crucial for experiments based on liquid argon (LAr) scintillation light detection. Wavelength shifters like 1,1,4,4-tetraphenyl-1,3-butadiene (TPB) or polyethylene naphthalate (PEN) are used in these experiments to shift the VUV scintillation light to the visible region. Precise knowledge of the optical properties of the WLS at liquid argon's temperature (87 K) and LAr scintillation wavelength (128 nm) is necessary to model and understand the detector response. The cryogenic VUV spectrofluorometer was commissioned to measure the emission spectra and relative wavelength shifting efficiency (WLSE) of samples between 300 K to 87 K for VUV (120 nm to 190 nm) and UV (310 nm) excitation. New mitigation techniques for surface effects on cold WLS were established. As part of this work, the TPB-based wavelength shifting reflector (WLSR) featured in the neutrinoless double-beta decay experiment LEGEND-200 was characterized. The WLSE was observed to increase by (54 ± 5) % from room temperature (RT) to 87 K. PEN installed in LEGEND-200 was also characterized, and a first measurement of the relative WLSE and emission spectrum at RT and 87 K is presented. The WLSE of amorphous PEN was found to be enhanced by at least (37 ± 4) % for excitation with 128 nm and by (52 ± 3) % for UV excitation at 87 K compared to RT.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberC05020
JournalJournal of Instrumentation
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2024


  • Noble liquid detectors (scintillation, ionization, double-phase)
  • Scintillators, scintillation and light emission processes (solid, gas and liquid scintillators)
  • Spectrometers


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