SENSEI: First Direct-Detection Constraints on Sub-GeV Dark Matter from a Surface Run

(SENSEI Collaboration)

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160 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Sub-Electron-Noise Skipper CCD Experimental Instrument (SENSEI) uses the recently developed Skipper-CCD technology to search for electron recoils from the interaction of sub-GeV dark matter particles with electrons in silicon. We report first results from a prototype SENSEI detector, which collected 0.019 g day of commissioning data above ground at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. These commissioning data are sufficient to set new direct-detection constraints for dark matter particles with masses between ∼500 keV and 4 MeV. Moreover, since these data were taken on the surface, they disfavor previously allowed strongly interacting dark matter particles with masses between ∼500 keV and a few hundred MeV. We discuss the implications of these data for several dark matter candidates, including one model proposed to explain the anomalously large 21-cm signal observed by the EDGES Collaboration. SENSEI is the first experiment dedicated to the search for electron recoils from dark matter, and these results demonstrate the power of the Skipper-CCD technology for dark matter searches.

Original languageEnglish
Article number061803
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume121
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 8 Aug 2018

Funding

FundersFunder number
U.S. Department of EnergyDE-AC02-07CH11359, DE-SC0017938
Institute for Advanced Study
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme682676
European Research CouncilCoG-2015-Proposal
National Natural Science Foundation of China2522/17
Israel Science Foundation1937/12
Israeli Centers for Research Excellence

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