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Within the ERC funded project ULTIMATE, we perform R&D towards the ultimate dark matter detector based on a dual-phase liquid xenon TPC. Such detector, maybe realized within the DARWIN framework, will have a target mass of ~40t of liquid xenon. Its sensitivity will start to be limited by coherent neutrino-nucleus interactions, a background which cannot be reduced by shielding.

The ULTIMATE team consists of 2 professors, 2 PostDocs, 3 PhD students and several BSc and MSc students. We address the following questions:

  • How can we achieve the strict Rn-background requirements for DARWIN?
  • How can we reduce the neutron background originating from PTFE?
  • Can we improve the design of the TPC to reduce these backgrounds?
  • Are there better alternatives to the dual-phase charge readout?
  • Which (non-WIMP) science channels can be addressed by DARWIN?


Some of these projects are pursued in our new laboratory in Freiburg. This unique building was re-furbished for our group recently and provides ideal conditions for large- and small-scale prototypes. It is eqipped with a small class ISO-6 cleanroom.

Fotos: Oliver Kern (, Architect: Roger Gerber
Please click on images to enlarge them.
The project is funded by an ERC Consolidator Grant from the European Commission, project number 724320. erc.png