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Dataset: Dust cloud evolution in sub-stellar atmospheres via plasma deposition and plasma sputtering

posted on 12.04.2018, 07:41 by Craig StarkCraig Stark

This is the dataset for the plots and figures discussed in the publication: Dust cloud evolution in sub-stellar atmospheres via plasma deposition and plasma sputtering, Craig R. Stark and Declan A. Diver, Astronomy and Astrophysics, 611, A91, 2018, https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201731253


In contemporary sub-stellar model atmospheres, dust growth occurs through neutral gas-phase surface chemistry. Recently, there has been a growing body of theoretical and observational evidence suggesting that ionisation processes can also occur. As a result, atmospheres are populated by regions composed of plasma, gas and dust, and the consequent influence of plasma processes on dust evolution is enhanced. This paper aims to introduce a new model of dust growth and destruction in sub-stellar atmospheres via plasma deposition and plasma sputtering. Using example sub-stellar atmospheres from Drift-Phoenix, we have compared plasma deposition and sputtering timescales to those from neutral gas-phase surface chemistry to ascertain their regimes of influence. We calculated the plasma sputtering yield and discuss the circumstances where plasma sputtering dominates over deposition. Within the highest dust density cloud regions, plasma deposition and sputtering dominates over neutral gas-phase surface chemistry if the degree of ionisation is ≥10^(-4). Loosely bound grains with surface binding energies of the order of 0.1-1 eV are susceptible to destruction through plasma sputtering for feasible degrees of ionisation and electron temperatures; whereas, strong crystalline grains with binding energies of the order 10 eV are resistant to sputtering. The mathematical framework outlined sets the foundation for the inclusion of plasma deposition and plasma sputtering in global dust cloud formation models of sub-stellar atmospheres.

Figure 1 data: stark_diver_2018_figure1.txt

Pressure-temperature and pressure-number density data for example sub-stellar atmospheres from Drift-Phoenix model atmosphere and cloud formation code. The model atmospheres considered are characterised by

Model A: log(g)=5, T_eff=1500K, [M/H]=0

Model B: log(g)=3, T_eff=2400K, [M/H]=0

Model C: log(g)=3, T_eff=1500K, [M/H]=0

Model D: log(g)=5, T_eff=2400K, [M/H]=0

Figure 2 data:

Time taken to grow/remove a monolayer of material on the surface of a dust grain via neutral gas-phase surface chemistry for,

Model A: stark_diver_2018_figure2A.txt

Model B: stark_diver_2018_figure2B.txt

Model C: stark_diver_2018_figure2C.txt

Model D: stark_diver_2018_figure2D.txt

and via plasma processes:


Figure 3 data:

Energy of ions at the surface of the dust grain as a function of gas pressure and degree of ionization, f_e, for electron temperatures,

T_e = T_gas: stark_diver_2018_figure3_Tgas.txt

T_e = 1 eV: stark_diver_2018_figure3_1eV.txt

T_e = 10 eV: stark_diver_2018_figure3_10eV.txt

Figure 4 data:

Sputtering yield and the relative strength of plasma sputtering to deposition, as a function of incident ion energy; surface binding energy, E_b; and, ion-neutral mass ratio x = 0.15, 0.81, 1.5 and 2.1.

E_b = 0.1 eV: Stark_diver_2018_figure4_01eV.txt

E_b = 1 eV: Stark_diver_2018_figure4_1eV.txt


Royal Society grant number: RG160840


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