Physics potential of searching for 0vββ decays in JUNO

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Jie Zhao, Liang-Jian Wen, Yi-Fang Wang and Jun Cao. Physics potential of searching for 0vββ decays in JUNO[J]. Chinese Physics C, 2017, 41(5): 053001. doi: 10.1088/1674-1137/41/5/053001
Jie Zhao, Liang-Jian Wen, Yi-Fang Wang and Jun Cao. Physics potential of searching for 0vββ decays in JUNO[J]. Chinese Physics C, 2017, 41(5): 053001.  doi: 10.1088/1674-1137/41/5/053001 shu
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Received: 2016-10-24
Revised: 2017-01-17
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    Supported by Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences(XDA10010900), CAS Center for Excellence in Particle Physics (CCEPP), Postdoctoral Science Foundation of China and Chinese Academy of Sciences (2015IHEPBSH101), Program of International ST Cooperation of MoST (2015DFG02000)

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Physics potential of searching for 0vββ decays in JUNO

    Corresponding author: Jie Zhao,
    Corresponding author: Liang-Jian Wen,
  • 1.  Institute of High Energy Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • 2. Institute of High Energy Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • 3. State Key Laboratory of Particle Detection and Electronics (Institute of High Energy Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences and University of Science and Technology of China
Fund Project:  Supported by Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences(XDA10010900), CAS Center for Excellence in Particle Physics (CCEPP), Postdoctoral Science Foundation of China and Chinese Academy of Sciences (2015IHEPBSH101), Program of International ST Cooperation of MoST (2015DFG02000)

Abstract: In the past few decades, numerous searches have been made for the neutrinoless double-beta decay (0vββ) process, aiming to establish whether neutrinos are their own antiparticles (Majorana neutrinos), but no 0vββ decay signal has yet been observed. A number of new experiments are proposed but they ultimately suffer from a common problem: the sensitivity may not increase indefinitely with the target mass. We have performed a detailed analysis of the physics potential by using the Jiangmen Underground Neutrino Observatory (JUNO) to improve the sensitivity to 0vββ up to a few meV, a major step forward with respect to the experiments currently being planned. JUNO is a 20 kton low-background liquid scintillator (LS) detector with 3%E(MeV) energy resolution, now under construction. It is feasible to build a balloon filled with enriched xenon gas (with 136Xe up to 80%) dissolved in LS, inserted into the central region of the JUNO LS. The energy resolution is ~1.9% at the Q-value of 136Xe 0vββ decay. Ultra-low background is the key for 0vββ decay searches. Detailed studies of background rates from intrinsic 2vββ and 8B solar neutrinos, natural radioactivity, and cosmogenic radionuclides (including light isotopes and 137Xe) were performed and several muon veto schemes were developed. We find that JUNO has the potential to reach a sensitivity (at 90% C. L.) to T1/20vββ of 1.8×1028 yr (5.6×1027 yr) with ~50 tons (5 tons) of fiducial 136Xe and 5 years exposure, while in the 50-ton case the corresponding sensitivity to the effective neutrino mass, mββ, could reach (5-12) meV, covering completely the allowed region of inverted neutrino mass ordering.

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