We use a science-grade Skipper Charge Coupled Device (Skipper-CCD) operating in a low-radiation background environment to develop a semi-empirical model that characterizes the origin of single-electron events in CCDs. We identify, separate, and quantify three independent contributions to the single-electron events, which were previously bundled together and classified as ``dark counts'': dark current, amplifier light, and spurious charge. We measure a dark current, which depends on exposure, of (5.89+-0.77)x10^-4 e-/pix/day, and an unprecedentedly low spurious charge contribution of (1.52+-0.07)x10^-4 e-/pix, which is exposure-independent. In addition, we provide a technique to study events produced by light emitted from the amplifier, which allows the detector's operation to be optimized to minimize this effect to a level below the dark-current contribution. Our accurate characterization of the single-electron events allows one to greatly extend the sensitivity of experiments searching for dark matter or coherent neutrino scattering. Moreover, an accurate understanding of the origin of single-electron events is critical to further progress in ongoing R&D efforts of Skipper and conventional CCDs.
- Pub Date:
- June 2021
- Physics - Instrumentation and Detectors;
- Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics;
- Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics;
- High Energy Physics - Experiment
- 9 pages, 6 figures, 4 tables