Volume 438, Number 1, July IV 2005
|Page(s)||1 - 9|
|Published online||06 July 2005|
Further experiments on collisional tribocharging of cosmic grains
Institut für Geophysik und extraterrestrische Physik, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Mendelssohnstraße 3, 38106 Braunschweig, Germany e-mail: email@example.com
Accepted: 8 March 2005
We experimentally investigated tribocharging in bouncing dust grain collisions under conditions which are relevant for the early solar nebula. We used silica, diamond, graphite, and silicon carbide grains and cm-sized targets of aluminum, iron, and graphite. We varied particle size around 1 , collision velocity between 38 to 106 , and target temperature between 240 K and 360 K. Generally, the grains acquire something in the order of hundreds or thousands of negative elementary charges, which is at the upper end of the range previously discussed in astrophysical research. Mainly, a temperature difference caused by the dissipation of collisional energy or by initial temperatures determines the amount of charge transfer. It suggests a thermally diffusive charge transfer process of negative charge carriers. Nevertheless, also other processes of secondary importance were effective. Material-dependent contact charging is ruled out as the dominant charge transfer process in our experiments. For most particle-target combinations, the charge transfer can be described by an empirical function of collision energy which we propose for future astrophysical applications, especially for applications on the sticking efficiency in the preplanetary dust aggregation process, on the particle motion in the solar nebula, and on the possibility of nebular lightning.
Key words: solar system: formation / methods: laboratory / dust, extinction
© ESO, 2005
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