Regular Article – Experimental Physics
An online radon monitor for low-background detector assembly facilities
M. Smoluchowski Institute of Physics, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland
2 Amherst Center for Fundamental Interactions and Physics Department, University of Massachusetts, 01003, Amherst, MA, USA
3 Physics Department, Princeton University, 08544, Princeton, NJ, USA
Accepted: 23 December 2020
Published online: 27 January 2021
Backgrounds from long-lived radon decay products are often problematic for low-energy neutrino and rare-event experiments. These isotopes, specifically , , and , easily plate out onto surfaces exposed to radon-loaded air. The alpha emitter is particularly dangerous for detectors searching for weakly-interacting dark matter particles. Neutrons produced via (, n) reactions in detector materials are, in some cases, a residual background that can limit the sensitivity of the experiment. An effective solution is to reduce the activity in the air in contact with detector components during fabrication, assembly, commissioning, and operation. We present the design, construction, calibration procedures and performance of an electrostatic radon detector made to monitor two radon-suppressed clean rooms built for the DARKSIDE-50 experiment. A dedicated data acquisition system immune to harsh operating conditions of the radon monitor is also described. A record detection limit for specific activity in air achieved by the device is (STP). The radon concentration of different air samples collected from the two DARKSIDE-50 clean rooms measured with the electrostatic detector is presented.
© The Author(s) 2021
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