Special Article - Tools for Experiment and Theory
Characterization of the energy resolution and the tracking capabilities of a hybrid pixel detector with CdTe-sensor layer for a possible use in a neutrinoless double beta decay experiment
Erlangen Centre for Astroparticle Physics, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erwin-Rommel-Straße 1, 91058, Erlangen, Germany
Revised: 5 March 2013
Published online: 3 April 2013
Many different experiments are being developed to explore the existence of the neutrinoless double beta decay (0νββ) since it would imply fundamental consequences for particle physics. In this work we present results on the evaluation of Timepix detectors with cadmium-telluride sensor material to search for 0νββ in 116Cd. This work was carried out with the COBRA collaboration and the Medipix collaboration. Due to the relatively small pixel dimension of 110×110×1000 μm3 the energy deposited by particles typically extends over several detector pixels leading to a track in the pixel matrix. We investigated the separation power regarding different event-types like α-particles, atmospheric muons, single electrons and electron-positron pairs produced at a single vertex. We achieved excellent classification power for α-particles and muons. In addition, we achieved good separation power between single electron and electron-positron pair production events. These separation abilities indicate a very good background reduction for the 0νββ search. Further, in order to distinguish between 2νββ and 0νββ, the energy resolution is of particular importance. We carried out simulations which demonstrate that an energy resolution of 0.43 % is achievable at the Q-value for 0νββ of 116Cd at 2.814 MeV. We measured an energy resolution of 1.6 % at a nominal energy of 1589 keV for electron-positron tracks which is about two times worse that predicted by our simulations. This deviation is probably due to the problem of detector calibration at energies above 122 keV which is discussed in this paper as well.
© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg and Società Italiana di Fisica, 2013