CCD.jpgThe DAMIC (Dark Matter In CCDs) experiment at SNOLAB employs the bulk silicon of scientific charge-coupled devices (CCDs) as a target for interactions of particle dark matter from the galactic halo. By virtue of the low pixel noise of the CCDs, DAMIC is particularly sensitive to the small ionization signals from recoiling electrons or nuclei following the interactions of low-mass dark matter particles.  

The low leakage current of the CCDs provides sensitivity to dark matter-electron interactions that would deposit sufficient energy to overcome the band gap of silicon and ionize a single electron. For example, DAMIC is sensitive to the scattering of dark matter particles with masses as small as 0.5 MeV and the absorption of hidden photons with masses as small as 1.2 eV. In addition, the relatively low mass of the silicon nucleus allows for particularly good sensitivity to the coherent elastic scattering of weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) with masses in the range 1–10 GeV, which would induce nuclear recoils of keV-scale energies.  

In January 2017, the DAMIC Collaboration deployed an array of seven 16-megapixel CCDs in an ultra-low radioactive background environment at SNOLAB. Each CCD features 15x15 micron pixels and a thickness of 675 microns. Throughout 2017-2019, DAMIC acquired more than 10 kilogram-days of data that is used in the search for dark matter particles with improved sensitivity.

DAMIC Research Page at the University of Washington

DAMIC-M Collaboration Website