Xenon Dark Matter Project


XENON at Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso is aimed at the direct detection of dark matter particles using a double-phase Xenon Time Projection Chamber (TPC). This kind of detector allows the identification of the interacting particle, the measurement of the deposited energy and the reconstruction of the interaction position with a few millimeter precision. Thanks to the high purity level achieved, the volume fiducialization and the background rejection techniques, it is possible to reach high sensitivity in rare event searches, in particular Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) and axions interactions in the detector.


OATo researchers have been contributing to the XENON project since 2009. The group initially focused on the design, installation, data taking and analysis of the muon veto. It is a water Cherenkov detector which completely surrounds the cryostat hosting the TPC. The muon veto is designed to reject with high efficiency the muon-induced background. More recently, the OATo group contributed to the construction of the neutron veto, a new detector surrounding TPC to reject the background component due to neutrons, mainly from radioactive materials.

The OATo group also participated in the data analysis at different stages of the project.


XENON project started with an R&D phase in 2002. The first detector at Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso, XENON10, had an active mass of 15 kg and was installed in 2005. The next stages of the project were XENON100 (62 kg) in 2007 and XENON1T (2 tons), which took data from 2015 to 2018. The current active detector is XENONnT, with 6 tons active mass, which will be running till 2026.


Gian Carlo Trinchero Email: giancarlo.trinchero at