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Signatures of muonic activation in the Majorana Demonstrator...

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Physical Review C
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Experiments searching for very rare processes such as neutrinoless double-beta decay require a detailed understanding of all sources of background. Signals from radioactive impurities present in construction and detector materials can be suppressed using a number of well-understood techniques. Background from in situ cosmogenic interactions can be reduced by siting an experiment deep underground. However, the next generation of such experiments have unprecedented sensitivity goals of 1028 years half-life with background rates of 10−5cts/(keV kg yr) in the region of interest. To achieve these goals, the remaining cosmogenic background must be well understood. In the work presented here, Majorana Demonstrator data are used to search for decay signatures of metastable germanium isotopes. Contributions to the region of interest in energy and time are estimated using simulations and compared to Demonstrator data. Correlated time-delayed signals are used to identify decay signatures of isotopes produced in the germanium detectors. A good agreement between expected and measured rate is found and different simulation frameworks are used to estimate the uncertainties of the predictions. The simulation campaign is then extended to characterize the background for the LEGEND experiment, a proposed tonne-scale effort searching for neutrinoless double-beta decay in 76Ge.