Prof. Karl K. Berggren and Dr. P. Donald Keathley
New Publication “Detecting Sub-GeV Dark Matter with Superconducting Nanowires”
We propose the use of superconducting nanowires as both target and sensor for direct detection of sub-GeV dark matter. With excellent sensitivity to small energy deposits on electrons and demonstrated low dark counts, such devices could be used to probe electron recoils from dark matter scattering and absorption processes. We demonstrate the feasibility of this idea using measurements of an existing fabricated tungsten-silicide nanowire prototype with 0.8-eV energy threshold and 4.3 ng with 10 000 s of exposure, which showed no dark counts. The results from this device already place meaningful bounds on dark matter-electron interactions, including the strongest terrestrial bounds on sub-eV dark photon absorption to date. Future expected fabrication on larger scales and with lower thresholds should enable probing of new territory in the direct detection landscape, establishing the complementarity of this approach to other existing proposals.
A complete description of the work may be found here.