A non-minimal perspective on the misalignment mechanism

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Non minimal couplings of scalar fields to gravity are a generic feature of Lagrangian formulations of gravity. Although challenging to probe at low energies and small curvature, such couplings can play a crucial role in cosmological setups. We focus on their impact in the production of scalar dark matter and its interplay with inflationary physics. We show how the standard non-thermal production mechanism of scalar dark matter, the misalignment mechanism, is modified, and explore how alternative scenarios like production from inflationary fluctuations become viable. We study potentially observable features of these scenarios, such as the enhancement of dark matter substructure at small scales and the generation of an isocurvature component in the fluctuations of the CMB.