Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 540A, 1-1 (2012/4-1)
Variations on a theme - the evolution of hydrocarbon solids. I. Compositional and spectral modelling - the eRCN and DG models.
Abstract (from CDS):
The compositional properties of hydrogenated amorphous carbons are known to evolve in response to the local conditions. We present a model for low-temperature, amorphous hydrocarbon solids, based on the microphysical properties of random and defected networks of carbon and hydrogen atoms, that can be used to study and predict the evolution of their properties in the interstellar medium. We adopt an adaptable and prescriptive approach to model these materials, which is based on a random covalent network (RCN) model, extended here to a full compositional derivation (the eRCN model), and a defective graphite (DG) model for the hydrogen poorer materials where the eRCN model is no longer valid. We provide simple expressions that enable the determination of the structural, infrared and spectral properties of amorphous hydrocarbon grains as a function of the hydrogen atomic fraction, XH. Structural annealing, resulting from hydrogen atom loss, results in a transition from H-rich, aliphatic-rich to H-poor, aromatic-rich materials. The model predicts changes in the optical properties of hydrogenated amorphous carbon dust in response to the likely UV photon-driven and/or thermal annealing processes resulting, principally, from the radiation field in the environment. We show how this dust component will evolve, compositionally and structurally in the interstellar medium in response to the local conditions.
dust, extinction - ISM: general