Effect of Dipole-Dipole Charge Interactions on Dust Coagulation

Matthews, Lorin Swint.
Hyde, Truell Wayne.
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New Journal of Physics

This study examines the effect that dipole–dipole charge interactions between fractal aggregates have on the growth of dust grains. Aggregates in a plasma or radiative environment will have charge distributed over their extended surface, which leads to a net dipole moment for the charged grains. A selfconsistent N-body code is used to model the dynamics of interacting charged aggregates. The aggregates are free to rotate due to collisions and dipole–dipole electrostatic interactions. These rotations are important in determining the growth rate and subsequent geometry (fractal dimension) of the grains. In contrast to previous studies which have only taken charge-dipole interactions into account, like-charged grains are found to coagulate more efficiently than neutral grains due to preferential incorporation of small aggregates into midsized aggregate structures. The charged aggregates tend to be more compact than neutral aggregates, characterized by slightly higher fractal dimensions.

New Journal of Physics 11 (2009) 063030