Rare event detection with Liquid Argon

Dark matter has never been physically measured although it represents the majority of all matter in the Universe. Neutrinos are the most numerous particles in the Universe, but their masses and the way they obtain it, are still unknown.


is searching for dark matter particles via their collisions with argon nuclei. We rely on rejecting any other particle interactions in deep underground laboratories. The "undeground" argon, has much lower intrinsic radioactivity with respect to "atmospheric" argon. We contributed to detector commissioning and are involved in data analysis.
Low-mass Dark Matter Search with the DarkSide-50 Experiment (2018)
Constraints on Sub-GeV Dark Matter-Electron Scattering from the DarkSide-50 Experiment (2018)
DarkSide-50 532-day Dark Matter Search with Low-Radioactivity Argon (2018)


We are also working on the development of detectors components for the future DarkSide-20k detector. LAr technology has unique background rejection capabilities to reach sensitivities up to and beyond so called ”neutrino floor”, where neutrino-induced coherent scattering on nuclei starts contributing to the background.
DarkSide-20k: A 20 Tonne Two-Phase LAr TPC for Direct Dark Matter Detection at LNGS (2017)


DUNE large-scale international LAr experiment will investigate the pattern of neutrino mass and mixing, and the role they play in astrophysics and cosmology.
We are presenty involved in HV Dune/ProtoDune Consortium.
High Voltage test in DUNE 35t cryostat (2018)

Precision neutrino physics

UC Davis neutrino group
We collaborate with Prof.Svoboda's group on all precision neutrino physics projects.

BACoN (completed) = precision measurements of specific neutron spallation cross section in LAr at CNL.
Supernovae go better with BACON (2014)

mini-CAPTAIN (completed) = neutron spallation backgrounds and neutrino interaction strengths in LAr.

MARLEY (ongoing) = development of realistic MC generator for low energy neutrino interactions in LAr.

ACED (ongoing)= a precision measurement of the gamma capture spectra fron neutron capture on argon with DANCE detector at LANL.

ARIS R&D project

Argon Recoil Ionization and Scintillation (ARIS) experiment made precision measurements of low energy argon nuclei recoils induced by monoenergetic directional neutrons in an argon detector and investigated if detector response depends on the argon recoil direction with respect to the applied electric field. These measurements provided several important scientific inputs for current and future LAr based experiments designed for direct detection of dark matter particles.
Measurement of the the liquid argon energy response to nuclear and electronic recoils (2018)

SiGHT photosensor R&D

Development of novel hybrid photosensor SiGHT with a less challenging design, enhanced performance and radiopurity to further advance dark matter searches. We collaborate with UCLA group on this project.
Feasibility study of SiGHT: a novel ultra low background photosensor for low temperature operation (2017)


Emilija Pantic, Associate professor -> Inspirehep.net

Tessa Johnson, 3rd year Postdoctoral scholar -> Personal web page

Luca Pagani, 1st year Postdoctoral scholar -> Working on DarkSide, DUNE and ACED.

Ben Schlitzer, 4th year PhD student -> Working on ARIS and DarkSide.

Sebastian Torres-Lara, 4th year UG student -> Working on optical simulations.

Recent Alumni

Xingchen Fan UG student working on position resolution in DarkSide-50 -> transfered to UCLA in 2017.

Kyle Bilton UG honors thesis on MARLEY in 2015 -> started PhD@ UCB in 2016.

Audrey Lee UG photosensor dark box work in 2015 -> NEXTracker in 2016.

Sam Crnkovich UG student working on miniCAPTAIN PMT testing in 2015 -> moved to another group.


Hands-on NAT Summer School at UC Davis, supported by NSSC and NSF, for 16 upper-level undergraduate or graduate students.