Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in protoplanetary disks around Herbig Ae/Be and T Tauri stars.
SEOK J.Y. and LI A.
Abstract (from CDS):
A distinct set of broad emission features at 3.3, 6.2, 7.7, 8.6, 11.3, and 12.7 µm, is often detected in protoplanetary disks (PPDs). These features are commonly attributed to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). We model these emission features in the infrared spectra of 69 PPDs around 14 T Tauri and 55 Herbig Ae/Be stars in terms of astronomical PAHs. For each PPD, we derive the size distribution and the charge state of the PAHs. We then examine the correlations of the PAH properties (i.e., sizes and ionization fractions) with the stellar properties (e.g., stellar effective temperature, luminosity, and mass). We find that the characteristic size of the PAHs tends to correlate with the stellar effective temperature (Teff) and interpret this as the preferential photodissociation of small PAHs in systems with higher Teff of which the stellar photons are more energetic. In addition, the PAH size shows a moderate correlation with the red-ward wavelength shift of the 7.7 µm PAH feature that is commonly observed in disks around cool stars. The ionization fraction of PAHs does not seem to correlate with any stellar parameters. This is because the charging of PAHs depends on not only the stellar properties (e.g., Teff, luminosity) but also their spatial distribution in the disks. The marginally negative correlation between PAH size and stellar age suggests that continuous replenishment of PAHs via the outgassing of cometary bodies and/or the collisional grinding of planetesimals and asteroids is required to maintain the abundance of small PAHs against complete destruction by photodissociation.