Marco Malabarba M.Sc.

Marco Malabarba M.Sc.
  • PhD student, joined July 2023
  • Thesis Title: Solar neutrino spectroscopy with the JUNO experiment

  • Phone: +49 2461 61 4123
  • E-mail:


  • 2021-2023, M.Sc. in Physics
    Università degli studi di Milano, Italy
    Master Thesis: Impact of the liquid scintillator optical properties on the JUNO detector response for the neutrino mass ordering determination

  • 2017-2020, B.Sc. in Physics
    Università degli studi di Milano, Italy
    Bachelor Thesis: Sensitivities studies of the JUNO detector to low energy solar neutrinos

Research Activity

JUNO (present)

JUNO, a multipurpose neutrino physics experiment currently under construction in China, is expected to be completed at the end of 2023. Its target will consist of 20 kton of liquid scillator. JUNO main goal is to determine the correct scenario of neutrino mass ordering within approximately 6 years of data-taking. However, thanks to its huge active volume and to an unprecedented energy resolution, JUNO will be able to detect and study solar, geo, atmosperic snd supernovae neutrinos as well. Furthermore JUNO will be the perfect candidate to perform exotic searches, such as proton decays or indirect dark matter detection.

During my master thesis I have evaluated, through Monte Carlo simulations, the impact of the liquid scintillator optical properties on the detector response. In particular, I focused on their impact on the JUNO energy resolution: this quantity is crucial to determine the correct neutrino mass ordering scenario with a good sensitivity.

I am currently performing Monte Carlo studies of JUNO sensitivity to Be7, pep and CNO solar neutrinos: the experiment has the potentiality to measure their flux with an unprecedented precision through the combination of a spectral and a directional analysis. The former relies on the different spectral shapes of the solar neutrino species and backgrounds. The latter relies on the directionality of the fast, sub-dominant Cherenkov light: the PMT hits caused by Cherenkov photons exhibit a correlation with the Sun’s position only for solar neutrino events. My main focus is the development a solar neutrino generator for the JUNO official software that is suitable for both spectral, directional and day-nught asymmetry analysis. This work is done in cooperation with the IHEP working group (Beijing), hence, in Dec. 2023 I went to Beijing to work with them in person.
When JUNO construction will be over, I will study the first data as well in order to evaluate the detector response, the backgrounds, and the systematic errors of the solar neutrino studies.

SHELDON (May 2022 - June 2023)

The SHELDON project (Separation of CHerenkov Light for Directionality Of Neutrinos), born in the Milano working group of JUNO, has the goal to measure the experimental properties of the JUNO liquid scintillator, like its fluorescence times, emission spectrum, absorbance, refractive index and group velocity. In fact, a good knowledge of the liquid scintillator properties is crucial to perform accurate Monte Carlo simulations of JUNO.
During my master thesis I have participated in the production of the liquid scintillator and in the laboratory measurements of the fluorescence times, absorbance and refractive index.

Selected Talks:

  • DPG 2024 - Particle Physics division, Karlsruhe, Germany, 4-8 March 2024
    Parallel Talk: "Directional solar neutrino analysis in JUNO "
  • IKP-Seminar, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany: April 27, 2023
    Seminar talk: "Impact of the liquid scintillator optical properties on the JUNO detector response for the neutrino mass ordering determination"
  • 108° SIF National Congress, Milan, Italy, 12-16 September 2022
    Parallel Talk: "JUNO sensitivity studies to solar neutrinos"