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Diamond detectors for direct detection of sub-GeV dark matter

ABSTRACT

We propose using high-purity lab-grown diamond crystal for the detection of sub–giga electron volt dark matter. Diamond targets can be sensitive to both nuclear and electron recoils from dark matter scattering in the mega-electron-volt and above mass range as well as to absorption processes of dark matter with masses between sub–electron volts to tens of electron volts. Compared to other proposed semiconducting targets such as germanium and silicon, diamond detectors can probe lower dark matter masses via nuclear recoils due to the lightness of the carbon nucleus. The expected reach for electron recoils is comparable to that of germanium and silicon, with the advantage that dark counts are expected to be under better control. Via absorption processes, unconstrained QCD axion parameter space can be successfully probed in diamond for masses of order 10 eV, further demonstrating the power of our approach.