The effects of grain size and grain growth on the chemical evolution of cold dense clouds.
ACHARYYA K., HASSEL G.E. and HERBST E.
Abstract (from CDS):
We investigate the formation of molecules during the chemical evolution of a cold dense interstellar cloud using a gas-grain numerical code in order to study the effects of grain-size distribution and grain growth on molecular abundances. Three initial size distributions have been used, based on earlier models. To incorporate different granular sizes, we divided the distribution of sizes utilized into five logarithmically equally spaced ranges, integrated over each range to find its total granular number density, and assigned that number density to an average size in that range. We utilized rate coefficients for surface reactions, accretion, and desorption as functions of grain size. We then followed the chemical evolution of the surface populations of the five average-sized grains along with the gas-phase chemistry. We find that the total effective granular surface area of a distribution is an important parameter in the determination of surface abundances, with and without grain growth. The effect on gas-phase abundances can also be sizable. Grain growth with time increases the rate of depletion of molecules, such as CO, produced in the gas phase. Use of a size distribution for grains in gas-grain models does not improve the agreement of calculated and observed abundances, in the gas or on grains, as compared with models containing "classical" grains of a fixed radius of 0.1 µm. This result helps to verify the quality of the classical grain approximation for cold cloud models. Further, it provides an important basis for future gas-grain models.