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Sensitivity of the COHERENT experiment to accelerator-produced dark matter...

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Physical Review D
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The COHERENT experiment is well poised to test sub-GeV dark matter models using detectors sensitive to coherent elastic neutrino-nucleus scattering (CEvNS) in the π+ decay-at-rest (π-DAR) neutrino beam produced by the Spallation Neutron Source. We show a planned 750-kg single-phase liquid argon scintillation detector would place leading limits on scalar light dark matter models for dark matter particles produced through vector and leptophobic portals in the absence of other effects beyond the standard model. The characteristic timing profile of a π-DAR beam allows a unique opportunity for constraining systematic uncertainties on the standard model background using a time window where dark matter signal is not expected, enhancing expected sensitivity. Additionally, we discuss future prospects which show that an on-axis CEvNS detector would probe the thermal abundance for a scalar dark matter candidate for all couplings α′≤1 for 15 MeV dark matter with just 1.0 tonne-yr of exposure with increased exposure testing a wider range of dark matter masses and spins.