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Unveiling the Hidden: A Search for Light Dark Matter with CCDs

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 DAMIC-M project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the DAMIC-M project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "DAMIC-M" about.

exploration    ccds    mass    existence    light    natural    detector    candidates    destructive    interacting    particles    alternative    unsuccessful    elusive    pixel    kg    leakage    wimp    15    unconventional    detecting    repetitive    galaxies    search    detected    spatial    single    experiments    sensitive    extremely    france    electron    magnitude    ordinary    deep    laboratoire    moves    jump    orders    laboratories    ionization    employed    asymp    nor    hadron    dictated    place    individual    ubiquitous    combination    free    counting    unmatched    wimps    detection    dark    formed    compelling    sensitivity    scenarios    damic    hidden    charge    leap    silicon    energies    paradigm    interact    unprecedented    collider    relics    scrutiny    speeds    found    proton    charges    true    recoils    dm    digital    stars    imaging    searches    electrons    installed    puzzling    modane    differently    universe    underground    serendipitous    experiment    innovation    ev    times    chased    nuclear    massive    explanation    rewarded    telescopes    souterrain    astronomical    resolution    discovery    lighter    mu    nature    de    first    cern    invisible    heavy    coupled    exquisite   

Project "DAMIC-M" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: RUE MICHEL ANGE 3
city: PARIS
postcode: 75794

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country France [FR]
 Total cost 3˙349˙563 €
 EC max contribution 3˙349˙563 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2017-ADG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-09-01   to  2023-08-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Dark matter (DM) is a ubiquitous yet invisible presence in our universe. It dictated how galaxies formed in the first place, and now moves stars around them at puzzling speeds. The DM mass in the universe is known to be five times that of ordinary matter; yet its true nature remains elusive.

Weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs), relics from the early universe, are a compelling explanation chased by sensitive experiments in deep underground laboratories. However, searches for heavy WIMPs (≈100 times the proton mass), the most theoretically natural candidates, have been so far unsuccessful. Nor has evidence for such heavy particles yet been found at the CERN Large Hadron Collider. Alternative scenarios are now under scrutiny, such as the existence of a hidden sector of lighter DM particles that interact, differently than WIMPs, also with electrons.

DAMIC-M (Dark Matter In CCDs at Modane) will search beyond the heavy WIMP paradigm by detecting nuclear recoils and electrons induced by light DM in charge-coupled devices (CCDs). The 0.5 kg detector will be installed at the Laboratoire Souterrain de Modane, France. In this novel and unconventional use of CCDs, which are commonly employed for digital imaging in astronomical telescopes, the ionization charge will be detected in the most massive CCDs ever built with exquisite spatial resolution (15 μm x 15 μm pixel). The crucial innovation in these devices is the non-destructive, repetitive measurement of the pixel charge, which results in the high-resolution detection of a single electron and unprecedented sensitivity to light DM (≈ eV energies are enough to free an electron in silicon). By counting individual charges in a detector with extremely low leakage current – a combination unmatched by any other DM experiment – DAMIC-M will take a leap forward of several orders of magnitude in the exploration of the hidden sector, a jump that may be rewarded by serendipitous discovery.

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The information about "DAMIC-M" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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