A plastic scintillation muon veto for sub-Kelvin temperatures

A. Erhart, V. Wagner, A. Wex, C. Goupy, D. Lhuillier, E. Namuth, C. Nones, R. Rogly, V. Savu, M. Schwarz, R. Strauss, M. Vivier, H. Abele, G. Angloher, A. Bento, J. Burkhart, L. Canonica, F. Cappella, N. Casali, R. CerulliA. Cruciani, G. del Castello, M. del Gallo Roccagiovine, A. Doblhammer, S. Dorer, M. Friedl, A. Garai, V. M. Ghete, D. Hauff, F. Jeanneau, E. Jericha, M. Kaznacheeva, A. Kinast, H. Kluck, A. Langenkämper, T. Lasserre, M. Mancuso, R. Martin, B. Mauri, A. Mazzolari, E. Mazzucato, H. Neyrial, L. Oberauer, T. Ortmann, L. Pattavina, L. Peters, F. Petricca, W. Potzel, F. Pröbst, F. Pucci, F. Reindl, M. Romagnoni, J. Rothe, N. Schermer, J. Schieck, S. Schönert, C. Schwertner, L. Scola, G. Soum-Sidikov, L. Stodolsky, M. Tamisari, C. Tomei, M. Vignati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rare-event search experiments located on-surface, such as short-baseline reactor neutrino experiments, are often limited by muon-induced background events. Highly efficient muon vetos are essential to reduce the detector background and to reach the sensitivity goals. We demonstrate the feasibility of deploying organic plastic scintillators at sub-Kelvin temperatures. For the NUCLEUS experiment, we developed a cryogenic muon veto equipped with wavelength shifting fibers and a silicon photo multiplier operating inside a dilution refrigerator. The achievable compactness of cryostat-internal integration is a key factor in keeping the muon rate to a minimum while maximizing coverage. The thermal and light output properties of a plastic scintillation detector were examined. We report first data on the thermal conductivity and heat capacity of the polystyrene-based scintillator UPS-923A over a wide range of temperatures extending below one Kelvin. The light output was measured down to 0.8 K and observed to increase by a factor of 1.61 ± 0.05 compared to 300 K. The development of an organic plastic scintillation muon veto operating in sub-Kelvin temperature environments opens new perspectives for rare-event searches with cryogenic detectors at sites lacking substantial overburden.

Original languageEnglish
Article number70
JournalEuropean Physical Journal C
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024


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