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Development and underground test of radiopure ZnMoO4 scintillating bolometers for the LUMINEU 0 nu 2 beta project

E. Armengaud 1 Q. Arnaud 2 C. Augier 2 A. Benoit 3 L. Berge 4 S. Boiko R. 5 T. Bergmann 6 J. Blueme, 6 A. Broniatowski 4 V. Brudanin 7 P. Camus 8 A. Cazes 2 M. Chapellier 4 F. Charlieux 2 M. Chernyak D. 4 N. Coron 9 P. Coulter 10 A. Danevich F. 5 T. de Boissiere 1 R. Decourt 11 M. de Jesus 2 L. Devoyon 12 A. Drillien 4 L. Dumoulin 4 K. Eitel 13 C. Enss 14 D. Filosofov 7 A. Fleischmann 14 N. Foerster 13 N. Fourches 1 J. Gascon 2 L. Gastaldo 14 G. Gerbier 1 A. Giuliani 4 D. Gray 1 M. Gros 1 L. Hehn 6 S. Henry 10 S. Herve 4 G. Heuermann 6 V. Humbert 4 M. Ivanov I. 15 A. Juillard 2 C. Kefelian 2 M. Kleifges 6 H. Kluck 6 V. Kobychev V. 5 F. Koskas 12 V. Kozlov 6 H. Kraus 10 A. Kudryavtsev,v. 16 Hélène Le Sueur 4 M. Loidl 17 P. Magnie, 1 P. Makarov E. 15 M. Mancuso 4 P. de Marcillac 4 S. Marnieros 4 C. Marrache-Kikuchi 4 A. Menshikov 6 G. Nasonov S. 15 -F. Navick X. 1 C. Nones 1 E. Olivieri 4 P. Pari 18 B. Paul 1 Y. Penichot 1 G. Pessina 19 M.C. Piro 4 O. Plantevin 4 V. Poda D. 4 T. Redon 9 M. Robinson 16 M. Rodrigues 17 S. Rozov 20 V. Sanglard 2 B. Schmidt 6 S. Scorza 6 N. Shlegel V. 15 B. Siebenborn 6 O. Strazzer 1 D. Tcherniakhovski 6 M. Tenconi 4 Lionel Torres 9 I. Tretyak V. 5 L. Vagneron 2 V. Vasiliev Ya 15 Matias Velázquez 11 Oudomsack Viraphong 11 J. Walker R. 6 M. Weber 6 E. Yakushev 20 X. Zhang 10 N. Zhdankov V. 21
Abstract : The LUMINEU (Luminescent Underground Molybdenum Investigation for NEUtrino mass and nature) project envisages a high-sensitivity search for neutrinoless double beta (0 nu 2 beta) decay of Mo-100 with the help of scintillating bolometers based on zinc molybdate (ZnMoO4) crystals. One of the crucial points for the successful performance of this experiment is the development of a protocol for producing high quality large mass ZnMoO4 crystal scintillators with extremely high internal radiopurity. Here we report a significant progress in the development of large volume ZnMoO4 crystalline boules (with mass up to 1 kg) from deeply purified materials. We present and discuss the results achieved with two ZnMoO4 samples (with mass of about 0.3 kg each): one is a precursor of the LUMINEU project, while the other one was produced in the framework of LUMINEU with an improved purification / crystallization procedure. The two crystals were measured deep underground as scintillating bolometers in the EDELWEISS dilution refrigerator at the Laboratoire Souterrain de Modane (France) protected by a rock overburden corresponding to 4800 m w.e. The results indicate that both tested crystals are highly radiopure. However, the advanced LUMINEU sample shows a clear improvement with respect to the precursor, exhibiting only a trace internal contamination related with Po-210 at the level of 1 mBq/kg, while the activity of Ra-226 and Th-228 is below 0.005 mBq/kg. This demonstrates that the LUMINEU purification and crystal-growth procedures are very efficient and leads to radiopurity levels which exceedingly satisfy not only the LUMINEU goals but also the requirements of a next-generation 0 nu 2 beta experiment.
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E. Armengaud, Q. Arnaud, C. Augier, A. Benoit, L. Berge, et al.. Development and underground test of radiopure ZnMoO4 scintillating bolometers for the LUMINEU 0 nu 2 beta project. Journal of Instrumentation, IOP Publishing, 2015, 10 (5), pp.P05007. ⟨10.1088/1748-0221/10/05/P05007⟩. ⟨in2p3-01186517⟩

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