Laboratory experiments of thermal annealing, evaporation and condensation of dust

This project aims at obtaining reliable laboratory data on the physico-chemical processes taking place during thermal annealing, evaporation and condensation of silicate minerals. These data are urgently needed for a consistent astrophysical modeling of radial abundances of dust/minerals and the chemical composition of dust in protoplanetary disks. The dust component determines the thermal structure of the disk, as radiative transfer depends on optical properties of crystalline and amorphous minerals. Furthermore, the chemical composition of solids and
their abundance (Ca, Al rich compounds, Mg-rich silicates, metal) determines the composition of accreting solid bodies (terrestrial planets and asteroids). A variety of minerals - particularly the cosmochemically abundant Mg-rich silicates of the olivine and pyroxene groups - have been
observed via infrared spectroscopy of protoplanetary disks and comets. In this project, controlled evaporation and condensation experiments (equilibrium, non-equilibrium) will be performed under protoplanetary disk conditions and thermal annealing will be traced in the laboratory by infrared spectroscopy of heated amorphous materials. Experiments will focus on Mg-rich olivine and pyroxene with variable Fe and Ca contents, and on Ca, Al compounds, for which reliable data are still missing.

Principle Investigators

Prof. Dr. Dominique Lattard
PD Dr. Mario Trieloff
Prof. Dr. Annemarie Pucci