Date of Award

1-1-2009

Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Department

Physics and Astronomy

Sub-Department

Physics

First Advisor

Frank T. Avignone

Abstract

The CUORICINO experiment was an array of 62 of TeO2 crystals arranged in 13 floors, with a total mass of 40.7 kg. It finished taking data in June 2008, giving a total of more than 3 years of active operating time and providing more than 18 kg y of 130Te of statistics. A search for both, the 0ν and 2ν double beta decay process to the first 0+ excited state in 130Xe was performed by studying both coincidence and anti-coincident possible scenarios. Each scenario has a different efficiency and because of this, an efficiency study was also made, taking into consideration the possibility of having non-active channels. The results of this study yielded efficiencies of up to 7% for CUORE and 6% for CUORICINO, and limits for the half lives of T1/2(130Te → 130Xe*) > 2.43 × 1023 y (90% C.L.), T1/2(130Te → 130Xe*) > 6 × 1023 y (90% C.L.) for CUORICINO. For the future experiment CUORE, which is a 988 array of TeO2 crystals with a total mass of 741 kg, a half life sensitivity of T1/2(130Te → 130Xe*) > 1.7 × 1025 y after 5 years of operation is expected.

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