## Abstract

Determining if the SM-like Higgs is part of an extended Higgs sector is the most important question to be asked after discovery. A light charged Higgs boson with mass smaller than the sum of top and bottom quarks is naturally allowed in Type-I two Higgs doublet model and can be produced in association with neutral scalars for large parts of parameter space at the LHC. Such low mass charged scalars typically have dominant decays to the fermionic modes viz. *τν* and *cs*. However in the presence of light neutral scalar (*φ*), the charged Higgs boson has a substantial branching fraction into the bosonic decay modes *H*^{±} *→ W* ^{(*)}*φ*. Identifying the heavier neutral Higgs (*H*) with the observed 125 GeV Higgs and working in the limit \( {M}_{H^{\pm }}\approx {M}_A \), we examine charged Higgs production and decay in the bosonic mode *pp* → *H*^{±}*h* → *W*^{(∗)}*hh*. The presence of two light Higgses (*h*) is then the key to identifying charged Higgs production. The light Higgs branching ratio is largely dominated by the \( b\overline{b} \) mode except when close to the fermiophobic limit. Here, the rates into \( b\overline{b} \) and *γγ* can be comparable and we can use the \( \gamma \gamma b\overline{b} \) signature. This signature is complementary to the *hh →* 4*γ* which has been previously discussed in literature. Using the lepton from the *W* boson, we demonstrate with a cut-and-count analysis that both the new light neutral Higgs as well as charged Higgs can be probed with reasonable significance at 13.6 TeV LHC with 300-3000 fb^{−1} of integrated luminosity.

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## Acknowledgments

We would like to acknowledge Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science for providing help with computational resources. In addition, we would like to thank Vinaya Krishnan MB for his help with Delphes. SD would like to acknowledge Prof. Stefano Moretti for helpful discussions regarding formulation of the project in the initial phase. DB would like to acknowledge the fellowship support from FAPESP under contract 2022/04399-4 and would like to thank Institute of Mathematical Sciences for providing computational resources in the initial phase of the project. ND would like to acknowledge the support from the Department of Science and Technology through the Ramanujan grant SB/S2/RJN-070.

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Bhatia, D., Desai, N. & Dwivedi, S. Discovery prospects of a light charged Higgs near the fermiophobic region of Type-I 2HDM.
*J. High Energ. Phys.* **2023**, 100 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/JHEP06(2023)100

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/JHEP06(2023)100