The inner rim structures of protoplanetary discs
Anton Pannekoek Astronomical Institute, University of Amsterdam, PO Box 94249, 1090 GE Amsterdam, The Netherlands e-mail: M.Kama@uva.nl
2 Utrecht Astronomical Institute, University of Utrecht, PO Box 80000, 3508 TA Utrecht, The Netherlands
3 Department of Astrophysics, Radboud University Nijmegen, Postbus 9010, 6500 GL Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Accepted: 27 July 2009
The inner boundary of protoplanetary discs is structured by the dramatic opacity changes at the transition from the dust-containing to a dust-free zone. This paper explores the variety and limits of inner rim structures in passively heated dusty discs. For this study, we implemented detailed sublimation physics in a fast Monte Carlo radiative transfer code. We show that the inner rim in dusty discs is not an infinitely sharp wall but a diffuse region which may be narrow or wide. Furthermore, high surface densities and large silicate grains as well as iron and corundum grains decrease the rim radius, from a 2.2 AU radius for small silicates around a Herbig Ae star typically to 0.4 AU and as close as 0.2 AU. A passive disc with grain growth and a diverse dust composition must thus have a small inner rim radius. Finally, an analytical expression is presented for the rim location as a function of dust, disc and stellar properties.
Key words: stars: circumstellar matter / stars: planetary systems: protoplanetary disks
© ESO, 2009