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Dust formation at cryogenic temperatures

  • Thomas Henning (a1), Cornelia Jäger (a2), Gaël Rouillé (a2), Daniele Fulvio (a3) and Serge A. Krasnokutski (a2)...


The efficiency of dust formation in a variety of environments is an ongoing topic for discussions, especially if it comes to dust formation in the interstellar medium. Although this possibility is discussed in a wide range of numerical studies, experiments on the formation of dust at low densities and temperatures are mostly lacking. This contribution summarizes the main findings of our low-temperature condensation experiments including the formation of silica, complex silicates with pyroxene and olivine stoichiometry, and of carbonaceous refractory materials. Atomic and molecular species to be expected as products of supernovae shock fronts were produced by laser ablation of silicates and graphite. These species were deposited together with a rare gas on cold substrates representing the surfaces of surviving dust grains in the interstellar medium. After characterizing the precursor species, the rare gas matrix was annealed to induce diffusion and reactions between the initial components. We found the production of amorphous and homogeneous silica and magnesium iron silicates at temperatures of about 12 K in a barrierless reaction as monitored by infrared spectroscopy. The 10 μm band of the low-temperature siliceous condensates shows a striking similarity to the 10 μm band of interstellar silicates. Carbonaceous atoms and molecules can also react without a barrier and form an amorphous or hydrogenated amorphous carbon material. The refractory condensate has properties comparable to fullerene-like carbon grains formed at high temperatures.



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Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union
  • ISSN: 1743-9213
  • EISSN: 1743-9221
  • URL: /core/journals/proceedings-of-the-international-astronomical-union
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