Scientific Results

Axion dark matter detection by laser induced fluorescence in rare-earth doped materials

Year: 2017

Authors: Braggio C., Carugno G., Chiossi F., Di Lieto A., Guarise M., Maddaloni P., Ortolan A., Ruoso G., Santamaria L., Tasseva J., Tonelli M.

Autors Affiliation: 1 Dip. di Fisica e Astronomia and INFN, Sez di Padova, Via F. Marzolo 8, I-35131, Padova, Italy. 2Dip. di Fisica and INFN, Largo Bruno Pontecorvo, 3, I-56127, Pisa, Italy.
3 CNR-INO, Istituto Nazionale di Ottica, Via Campi Flegrei 34, I-80078, Pozzuoli, Italy.
4 INFN, Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sez. di Napoli, Complesso Universitario di M.S.
Angelo, Via Cintia, Napoli, Italy.
5 INFN, Laboratori Nazionali di Legnaro, Viale dell’Università 2, I-35020, Legnaro,
Italy.
6 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI), Contrada Terlecchia, I-75100, Matera, Italy.

Abstract: We present a detection scheme to search for QCD axion dark matter, that is based on a direct interaction between axions and electrons explicitly predicted by DFSZ axion models. The local axion dark matter field shall drive transitions between Zeeman-split atomic levels separated by the axion rest mass energy mac2. Axion-related excitations are then detected with an upconversion scheme involving a pump laser that converts the absorbed axion energy (~hundreds of μeV) to visible or infrared photons, where single photon detection is an established technique. The proposed scheme involves rare-earth ions doped into solid-state crystalline materials, and the optical transitions take place between energy levels of 4fN electron configuration. Beyond discussing theoretical aspects and requirements to achieve a cosmologically relevant sensitivity, especially in terms of spectroscopic material properties, we experimentally investigate backgrounds due to the pump laser at temperatures in the range 1.9 − 4.2 K. Our results rule out excitation of the upper Zeeman component of the ground state by laser-related heating effects, and are of some help in optimizing activated material parameters to suppress the multiphonon-assisted Stokes fluorescence.

Journal/Review: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS

Volume: 7      Pages from: 15168-1  to: 15168-9

KeyWords: Energy-level structure; Optical refrigeration; Superconducting qubit; Galactic axions; Harmless axion; CP invariance; Up-conversion; Single-photon; Anti-stokes; Ions
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-15413-6

Citations: 7
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English