Unveiling Dust Aggregate Structure in Protoplanetary Disks by Millimeter-wave Scattering Polarization

Ryo Tazaki, Hidekazu Tanaka, Akimasa Kataoka, Satoshi Okuzumi, Takayuki Muto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dust coagulation in a protoplanetary disk is the first step of planetesimal formation. However, the pathway from dust aggregates to planetesimals remains unclear. Both numerical simulations and laboratory experiments have suggested the importance of dust structure in planetesimal formation, but it is not well constrained by observations. We study how the dust structure and porosity alters polarimetric images at millimeter wavelength by performing 3D radiative transfer simulations. Aggregates with different porosity and fractal dimension are considered. As a result, we find that dust aggregates with lower porosity and/or higher fractal dimension are favorable to explain the observed millimeter-wave scattering polarization of disks. Although we cannot rule out the presence of aggregates with extremely high porosity, a population of dust particles with relatively compact structure is at least necessary to explain polarized-scattered waves. In addition, we show that particles with moderate porosity show weak wavelength dependence of scattering polarization, indicating that multi-wavelength polarimetry is useful to constrain dust porosity. Finally, we discuss implications for dust evolution and planetesimal formation in disks.

Original languageEnglish
JournalUnknown Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jun 29

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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