Induced nucleation of carbon dust in red giant stars

Brian J. Cadwell, Hai Wang, Eric D. Feigelson, Michael Frenklach

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This study quantitatively tests the proposed model of induced nucleation of carbonaceous grains in carbon-rich red giant stars. Induced nucleation is the process of grain growth initiated by the presence of reactive surfaces provided by seed particles. The numerical study was performed using a detailed chemical kinetic model of carbon deposition, grain coagulation, and homogeneous nucleation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The model uses a method of moments to keep track of developing grain population in the forming dust shell. We test the efficiency of grain formation for large ranges of dust shell parameters typical for carbon stars. Our model is capable of producing a range of optically thick and thin dust shells in carbon stars. Results are in accord with IRAS spectral classes of carbon stars. The resulting composite grains produced are consistent with those recently found in ancient meteorites. This model also provides a realistic explanation for high abundances of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the interstellar medium and some planetary nebulae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-299
Number of pages15
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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