Gram-scale cryogenic calorimeters for rare-event searches
AbstractThe energy threshold of a cryogenic calorimeter can be lowered by reducing its size. This is of importance since the resulting increase in signal rate enables new approaches in rare-event searches, including the detection of MeV mass dark matter and coherent scattering of reactor or solar neutrinos. A scaling law for energy threshold vs detector size is given. We analyze the possibility of lowering the threshold of a gram-scale cryogenic calorimeter to the few eV regime. A prototype 0.5 g Al2O3 device achieved an energy threshold of Eth=(19.7±0.9) eV, the lowest value reported for a macroscopic calorimeter.