2015: Production, characterization and operation of 76-Ge enriched BEGe detectors in GERDA

The European Physical Journal. C, Particles and Fields

Agostini M. et al. (GERDA Collaboration) M. Wójcik, G. Zuzel, K. Pelczar, M. Misiaszek, N. Frodyma, D. Borowicz




The GERmanium Detector Array (Gerda) at the Gran Sasso Underground Laboratory (LNGS) searches for the neutrinoless double beta decay (0νββ) of 76Ge. Germanium detectors made of material with an enriched 76Ge fraction act simultaneously as sources and detectors for this decay. During Phase I of theexperiment mainly refurbished semi-coaxial Ge detectors from former experiments were used. For the upcoming Phase II, 30 new 76Ge enriched detectors of broad energy germanium (BEGe)-type were produced. A subgroup of these detectors has already been deployed in Gerda during Phase I. The present paper reviews the complete production chain of these BEGe detectors including isotopic enrichment, purification, crystal growth and diode production. The efforts in optimizing the mass yield and in minimizing the exposure of the 76Ge enriched germanium to cosmic radiation during processing are described. Furthermore, characterization measurements in vacuum cryostats of the first subgroup of seven BEGe detectors and their long-term behavior in liquid argon are discussed. The detector performance fulfills the requirements needed for the physics goals of Gerda Phase II.