USD Achieves Another Milestone Toward Dark Matter Detection

Wenzhao Wei achieved a milestone in dark matter research Wenzhao Wei fabricated a detector with a guard-ring contact for dark matter research.

After a successful fabrication of Ge detectors with home-grown crystals at the University of South Dakota, the Center for Ultraslow Background Experiments in Dakotas (CUBED) has achieved another milestone by making a new dark matter detector with home-grown crystals.

The detection of dark matter, a form of matter that does not emit lights or interact with electromagnetic interaction, is a major mystery in the modern cosmology and particle physics. According to the recent cosmological observations, dark matter is thought to account for approximately 85 percent of the matter in the universe and about a quarter of its total energy density. However, it has not been directly detected by any experiments in the world.

Improving the detection limits is the most important effort that has attracted many scientists to develop more sensitive detectors to search for dark matter.

Wenzhao Wei, a postdoctoral researcher in physics working on the detector development under the support of the South Dakota Board of Regent’s Innovation Grant, has successfully fabricated a detector with a guard-ring contact.

“This is the first guard-ring contact detector made at USD,” said Dongming Mei, Ph.D., the CUBED director at USD.

“Wenzhao has been working very hard,” added Jing Liu, Ph.D., an assistant professor in physics who also works on the detectors with Wei. “I was very impressed by Dr. Wei’s work, and the guard-ring Ge detector she made is a good detector.”

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