We present a background model for dark matter searches using an array of NaI(Tl) crystals in the COSINE-100 experiment that is located in the Yangyang underground laboratory. The model includes background contributions from both internal and external sources, including cosmogenic radionuclides and surface 210Pb contamination. To build the model in the low energy region, with a threshold of 1 keV, we used a depth profile of 210Pb contamination in the surface of the NaI(Tl) crystals determined in a comparison between measured and simulated spectra. We also considered the effect of the energy scale errors propagated from the statistical uncertainties and the nonlinear detector response at low energies. The 1.7 years COSINE-100 data taken between October 21, 2016 and July 18, 2018 were used for this analysis. Our Monte Carlo simulation provides a non-Gaussian peak around 50 keV originating from beta decays of bulk 210Pb in a good agreement with the measured background. This model estimates that the activities of bulk 210Pb and 3H are dominating the background rate that amounts to an average level of 2.85 ± 0.15 counts/day/keV/kg in the energy region of (1–6) keV, using COSINE-100 data with a total exposure of 97.7 kg· years.

Original languageEnglish
Article number837
JournalEuropean Physical Journal C
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021


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