Synthetic table giving the characteristic times of destruction and formation processes of the aliphatic hydrogenated carbon component in the different phases of the interstellar medium.
|Interstellar phase||Diffuse||Interface a||Dense|
|Visual extinction||AV(mag)||<10-4||10-4 − 1||>1|
|Energy deposited||UV ≫ CR||UVCRinduced ~ 10 × CRb|
|Atomic or molecular hydrogen||H ≫ H2||H < H2||H ≪ H2|
|Dynamical time||tdyn (years)||108c||≲107d||~few 107e|
|Destruction time by CR||td,CR (years)||108||108||108|
|Destruction time by UV photons||td,UV (years)||4 × 103f||≳4.103exp(AV)||≳107g|
|Formation time by atomic H||tf,H (years)||2 × 103h||less efficient than in diffuse ISM||inefficient?i|
|Destruction/Formation||Efficient formation||Efficient destruction?||Slow destruction|
Notes. The destruction and formation characteristic times can be compared to the dynamical time, i.e., the approximate time spent in each of these phases.
The figure is adapted from Le Petit et al. (2006). The blue zone emphasises the transition zone between atomic and molecular hydrogen.
The local UV field induced by cosmic rays deposits more energy than cosmic rays themselves (Shen et al. 2004). However, because the penetration depth of photons is smaller, the ice mantles are more UV processed, whereas the internal part of grains is dominated by cosmic ray energy deposition.
E.g., Jones et al. (1994).
Mennella et al. (2001) (σd,UV = 1.0 × 10-19 cm2/photon), Prasad & Tarafdar (1983) (flux of internal UV field due to CR of 103−104 photons cm-2 s-1). This results in a characteristic destruction time by an internal UV field of 107−108 yr. Once the ice mantles appear on the dust grains (AV ≳ 3, (Whittet et al. 1988; Smith et al. 1993; Murakawa et al. 2000)), the refractory material is partly protected from the UV via the photochemical interaction in these mantles.
See the first two paragraphs of Sect. 4.6.2 for details.
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