The LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) dark matter search experiment is a 7 tonnes active mass dual-phase xenon time-projection chamber (TPC) operating at the 1490 meter level of the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, SD, USA. The experiment aims to detect rare events resulting from the scattering of Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs), a leading dark matter candidate. I will present an overview of the LZ experiment and its first dark matter search results. I will also present ultra-low energy calibrations of electronic recoil (ER) using an intrinsic 127Xe source and of nuclear recoil (NR) using a short pulsed D-D neutron generator in the LUX detector (LZ predecessor). Both ER and NR measurements represent the lowest-energy in situ calibrations (0.19 keVee for ER and 0.27 keVnr for NR) that have been explored in liquid xenon (LXe). New calibration results are crucial to determine physics search sensitivities of large mass LXe TPCs, such as LZ and PandaX-4T experiments, for low mass WIMPs (< 10 GeV). I will close with presenting a proposal of a new technique for an ultra-low energy NR calibration using the recoils imparted to xenon nuclei during the de-excitation process following thermal neutron capture in a small dual-phase Xe TPC. The instantaneous gamma cascade leaves the nuclei with less than 0.3 keVnr of recoil energy.
Dongqing Huang (黄栋青) is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He has been an active member of both LUX (Large Underground Xenon) and its successor LZ (LUX-ZEPLIN) dark matter search experiments since 2012. He is currently serving as the coordinator for the LZ background working group. He completed his Ph.D. in physics at Brown University in 2019.
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