Radiative forces on macroscopic porous bodies in protoplanetary disks: laboratory experiments
Faculty of Physics, University of Duisburg-Essen, Lotharstr. 1, 47057 Duisburg, Germany
Received: 26 February 2013
Accepted: 31 July 2013
In optically thin parts of protoplanetary disks photophoresis is a significant force not just for dust grains, but also for macroscopic bodies. The absolute strength on the supposedly highly porous objects is not known in detail as yet. We set up a low pressure torsion balance and studied photophoretic forces down to 100 nN on plates at a light flux of 100 W/m2. We investigated the dependence on plate dimensions and on ambient pressure and considered the influence of channels through the plates. As samples for full (no channel) plates we used tissue with 2 mm thickness and circular shape with diameters of 10 mm, 30 mm and 50 mm. The influence of channels was probed on rectangular-shaped circuit boards of 35 mm × 35 mm area and 1.5 mm thickness. The number of channels was 169 and 352. The pressure was varied over three decades between 0.001 and 1 mbar. At low pressure, the absolute photophoretic force is proportional to the cross section of the plates. At high pressure, gas flow through the channels enhances the photophoretic force. The pressure dependence of the radiative force can (formally) be calculated by photophoresis on particles with a characteristic length. We derived two characteristic length scales l depending on the plate radius r1, the channel radius r2, and the thickness of the plate, which equals the length of the channel d as l = r0.35 × d0.65. The highest force is found at a pressure pmax = 15 × l-1 Pa mm. In total, the photophoretic force on a plate with channels can be well described by a superposition of the two components: photophoresis due to the overall size and cross section of the plate and photophoresis due to the channels, both with their characteristic pressure dependencies. We applied these results to the transport of large solids in protoplanetary disks and found that the influence of porosity on the photophoretic force can reverse the inward drift of large solids, for instance meter-sized bodies, and push them outward within the optically thin parts of the disk.
Key words: solid state: refractory / accretion, accretion disks / hydrodynamics / methods: laboratory / protoplanetary disks / planets and satellites: formation
© ESO, 2013