Single electron response achieved!

We have recently demonstrated, for the first time, single-electron response with a 675 um-thick skipper CCD fabricated on high-resistivity silicon. This is the first techonolgical milestone of the DAMIC-M program.

The extremely low noise of the skipper CCD will allow us to reach unprecedently low energy thresholds with DAMIC-M for an increase in sensitivity by several orders of magnitude in the search for light dark matter particles.

The prototype 1kx6k CCD was designed by Berkeley Lab and packaged at the University of Washington (UW). The data acquisition system and interface electronics were also developed at UW with the support of CENPA technical staff.

Left: 1kx6k DAMIC-M development CCD packaged at the University of Washington. Right: Distribution of pixel values in a CCD image, demonstrating a noise level of 0.07 e- RMS, which allows the device to resolve single charges per pixel.


Dark matter-electron scattering result from SNOLAB!

DAMIC's latest results on the search for light dark matter particles (MeV-scale masses) was posted today on the arXiv! Link.

These are the best exclusion limits on the existence of dark matter particles with masses in the 0.5–5.0 MeV range:

The 90 % C.L upper limits on the DM-electron free scattering cross section (σe) as a function of DM mass (mχ) for three different dark-matter form factors (FDM) obtained by DAMIC at SNOLAB (solid blue line).​ Other lines present results from competing experiments.


Wire bonder works!

Yesterday we completed the first DAMIC 4k x 2k CCD package at the University of Washington. The device is half the area of the CCDs currently taking data at SNOLAB but otherwise identical. This CCD is a candidate to go to Los Alamos over the summer for activation by a neturon beam. The goal is to perform an experimental estimate of the tritium that is activated in silicon by cosmic neutrons.

Left: The first 4k x 2k DAMIC CCD to be wire bonded at the University of Washington. Thanks to Bret from Luna Tech Sales for his assistance. The package is now complete. Right: The resulting wire bonds as seen through a microscope: 78/78 bonded in automatic mode, 100% success rate!


Clean lab is ready!

After a few months of hard work our clean CCD packaging and testing lab is ready!

Left: View from outside the clean room. Center: K&S 1470 automatic wire bonder from Luna Technical Sales and inspection microscopeRight: CCD test chamber under commissioning and CCD mock-ups.


Website is up!

Welcome to the website of the DAMIC Group at the University of Washington. We have included a brief description of our experiment, the specific activities at UW, and our member profiles. Please use the tabs above for navigation.