Date of this Version
PHYSICAL REVIEW D 90, 015018 (2014)
We study the spin-independent neutralino dark matter scattering off heavy nuclei in the minimal supersymmetric Standard Model. We identify analytically the blind spots in direct detection for intermediate values of mA. In the region where μ and M1,2 have opposite signs, there is not only a reduction of the lightest CP-even Higgs coupling to neutralinos, but also a destructive interference between the neutralino scattering through the exchange of the lightest CP-even Higgs and that through the exchange of the heaviest CP-even Higgs. At critical values of mA, the tree-level contribution from the light Higgs exchange cancels the contribution from the heavy Higgs, so the scattering cross section vanishes. We denote these configurations as blind spots, since they provide a generalization of the ones previously discussed in the literature, which occur at very large values of mA. We show that the generalized blind spots may occur in regions of parameter space that are consistent with the obtention of the proper neutralino relic density and can be tested by nonstandard Higgs boson searches and EWino searches at the LHC and future linear colliders.