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Advances in High Energy Physics
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 105318, 20 pages
Research Article

The Potential of Hybrid Pixel Detectors in the Search for the Neutrinoless Double-Beta Decay of 116Cd

1Erlangen Centre for Astroparticle Physics (ECAP), Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erwin-Rommel-Str. 1, 91058 Erlangen, Germany
2Faculty of Physics, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Schellingstr. 4, 80799 München, Germany

Received 28 June 2013; Revised 17 September 2013; Accepted 19 September 2013

Academic Editor: Vincenzo Flaminio

Copyright © 2013 Thilo Michel et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We investigated the potential of the energy resolving hybrid pixel detector Timepix contacted to a CdTe sensor layer for the search for the neutrinoless double-beta decay of . We found that a CdTe sensor layer with 3?mm thickness and 165?µm pixel pitch is optimal with respect to the effective Majorana neutrino mass () sensitivity. In simulations, we were able to demonstrate a possible reduction of the background level caused by single electrons by approximately 75% at a specific background rate of 10-3 counts/() at a detection efficiency reduction of about 23% with track analysis employing random decision forests. Exploitation of the imaging properties with track analysis leads to an improvement in sensitivity to by about 22%. After 5 years of measuring time, the sensitivity to of a 420?kg CdTe experiment (90% enrichment) would be 59?meV on a 90% confidence level for a specific single-electron background rate of 10-3 counts/(). The a-particle background can be suppressed by at least about six orders of magnitude. The benefit of the hybrid pixel detector technology might be increased significantly if drift-time difference measurements would allow reconstruction of tracks in three dimensions.