Multiphonon excitations from dark matter scattering in crystals

Kavli Affiliate: Tom Melia

| First 5 Authors: Brian Campbell-Deem, Peter Cox, Simon Knapen, Tongyan Lin, Tom Melia

| Summary:

For direct detection of sub-MeV dark matter, a promising strategy is to
search for individual phonon excitations in a crystal. We perform an analytic
calculation of the rate for light dark matter (keV $<m_{DM}<$ MeV) to produce
two acoustic phonons through scattering in cubic crystals such as GaAs, Ge, Si
and diamond. The multiphonon rate is always smaller than the rate to produce a
single optical phonon, whenever the latter is kinematically accessible. In Si
and diamond there is a dark matter mass range for which multiphonon production
can be the most promising process, depending on the experimental threshold.

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