The SoLid detector is designed as a sensitive anti-neutrino scintillator detector, dedicated to the search of eV-scale sterile neutrinos. This project combines a unique reactor environment with a novel detector technology, whereby detection happens in a highly-segmented plastic scintillator. Neutrinos interact with protons in the scintillating material, producing a positron and a neutron, each identifiable by a characteristic light signal.
This experiment is being developed within a framework of 12 different universities and research institutions from Belgium, France, UK and USA. After deploying several prototypes at BR2, the full-scale detector is currently under construction and is expected to take date at BR2 by the end of this year.
The proposed PhD project would employ this unique detector technology in the search for very heavy (1-10 MeV scale) sterile neutrinos, which are a possible candidate for dark matter. The SoLid detector would be ideally suited to hunt for the in-flight decay of these particles. Since the SoLid detector is primarily designed to hunt for eV-scale neutrinos, this PhD work will focus on the development of new firmware and analysis procedures to enable an efficient identification of these in-flight decay events. The extracted results will then be analyzed within a dedicated oscillation-analysis framework.