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Sensitivity enhancement of the CUORE experiment via the development of Cherenkov hybrid TeO₂ bolometers

Abstract : CUORE is the first tonne-scale experiment searching for the neutrinoless double beta decay with TeO₂ bolometers. The discovery of this nuclear transitionwould have decisive consequences on the present physics scene. The following questions would find an answer: why is matter dominant in the Universe? which is the neutrino mass? has the neutrino a Majorana or a Dirac nature? This work presents two different approaches for the enhancement of the CUORE sensitivity with a view to its upgrade: the CUPID experiment. In the first part, a study of the thermal model describing NTD-based bolometers is presented with the objective to achieve a better comprehension of the response of the CUORE detectors. Bolometers are amazing detectors used for a large number of applications because of their impressive high performance, but their modelisation and simulation is far to be completely understood. Two measurements have been performed for an experimental evaluation of two thermal-model parameters: the glue and the electron-phonon conductances. In the second part, the possibility to detect the tiny Cherenkov light emitted by TeO₂ to reject alpha events — the main background of the CUORE experiment — is studied. The challenge consists in the detection of a 100-eV light signal with a NTD-based light detector that usually is characterised by a baseline noise of the order of 100 eV. This issue is solved with the employment of the Neganov-Trofimov-Luke (NTL) effect to lower the energy threshold of the light detector and improve its signal-to-noise ratio. This effect exploits the presence of an electric field to amplify bolometric thermal signals. The full rejection of the alpha background has been proved with one NTL assisted photo-bolometer coupled to a CUORE-size TeO₂ bolometer. A convincing solution for the alpha background rejection has been demonstrated with a view to the CUPID experiment.
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Valentina Novati. Sensitivity enhancement of the CUORE experiment via the development of Cherenkov hybrid TeO₂ bolometers. Instrumentation and Detectors [physics.ins-det]. Université Paris Saclay (COmUE), 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018SACLS412⟩. ⟨tel-01963790⟩

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