T-2, Nuclear and Particle Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology

Searching for Light Dark Matter with Dirac Materials

Yoni Kahn

Dark matter with mass below a GeV is invisible to standard WIMP searches. In this talk I will present two recent proposals for direct detection of keV-GeV mass dark matter, both utilizing Dirac materials, where low-energy electronic excitations have linear dispersion relations and obey the Dirac equation. Dark matter with mass in the MeV-GeV range can eject electrons from graphene sheets, which can act as both targets and detectors when employed in a field-effect transistor mode, allowing directional detection. Dark matter as light as a few keV can excite electrons to the conduction band of Dirac semimetals like ZrTe5, where the linear dispersion protects the in-medium mass of the mediator and provides superior reach to a light dark photon mediator compared to superconductors. I will discuss recent progress towards experimental realizations of these proposals.


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