Photophoretic Force on Aggregate Grains, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
The photophoretic force may impact planetary formation by selectively moving solid particles based on their composition and structure. This generates collision velocities between grains of different sizes and sorts the dust in protoplanetary discs by composition. This numerical simulation studied the photophoretic force acting on fractal dust aggregates of μm-scale radii. Results show that aggregates tend to have greater photophoretic drift velocities than spheres of similar mass or radii, though with a greater spread in the velocity. While the drift velocities of compact aggregates continue to increase as the aggregates grow larger in size, fluffy aggregates have drift velocities which are relatively constant with size. Aggregates formed from an initially polydisperse size distribution of dust grains behave differently from aggregates formed from a monodisperse population, having smaller drift velocities with directions which deviate substantially from the direction of illumination. Results agree with microgravity experiments which show the difference of photophoretic forces with aggregation state.