AAS 195th Meeting, January 2000
Session 74. ISM: Dust
Display, Friday, January 14, 2000, 9:20am-6:30pm, Grand Hall

[Previous] | [Session 74] | [Next]

[74.06] The Photoluminescence Efficiency of Extended Red Emission as a Constraint for Interstellar Dust

T.L. Smith, A.N. Witt (The University of Toledo)

The broad, 60 < FWHM < 100 nm, featureless luminescence band known as extended red emission (ERE) is seen in such diverse dusty astrophysical environments as reflection nebulae 17, planetary nebulae 3, HII regions (Orion) 12, a Nova 11, Galactic cirrus 14, a dark nebula 7, Galaxies 8,6 and the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM) 4. The band is confined between 540-950 nm, but the wavelength of peak emission varies from environment to environment, even within a given object. We have concluded that available data indicate that the wavelength of peak emission is longer and the efficiency of the luminescence is lower, the harder and denser the illuminating radiation field is 13. These general characteristics of ERE constrain the photoluminescence (PL) band and efficiency for laboratory analysis of dust analog materials. We have studied and present the PL band characteristics and efficiencies for a wide variety of dust analogs including hydrogenated amorphous carbon (HAC), Si-HAC alloys, nanodiamonds, silicon carbide nanoparticles, carbon nanoparticles and silicon nanoparticles. The PL efficiencies measured for HAC and Si-HAC alloys are consistent with dust estimates for reflection nebulae and planetary nebulae, but exhibit substantial photoluminescence below 540 nm which is not observed in astrophysical environments. Furthermore, all interstellar grains would need to consist of or be coated with these materials to match the ERE in terms of its quantum efficiency. Only the experimentally confirmed photoluminescence properties of silicon nanoparticles 1,2,5,9,10,15,16 match the ERE photoluminescence band constraints and fulfill the minimum photoluminescence efficiency predicted by Gordon et al. (1998) 4 without introducing unexpected spectral features in the diffuse ISM and without violating the abundance constraints on depleted interstellar silicon 18.

This work has been supported by grants from NASA which we acknowledge with gratitude.

1. Credo, G.M., Mason, M.D., & Burrato, S.K. 1999, Appl. Phys. Lett., 74, 1978

2. Ehbrecht, M., Kohn, B., Huisken, F., Laguna, M.A. & Paillard, V. 1997, Phys. Rev. B, 56, 6958

3. Furton, D.G., & Witt, A.N. 1992, ApJ, 386, 587

4. Gordon, K.D., Witt, A.N., & Friedmann, B.C. 1998, ApJ, 498, 522

5. Lockwood, D.J., Lu, Z.H., & Baribeau, J.M. 1996, Phys. Rev. Lett., 76, 539

6. Majeed, A., Witt, A.N., & Boroson, T.A. 1999, Bull. AAS 3,886

7. Mattila, K. 1979, A&A, 78, 253 8. Perrin, J.M., Darbon, S., & Sivan, J.P. 1995, A&A, 304, L21

9. Schuppler, S. et al. 1994, Phys. Rev. B, 56, 6958

10. Schuppler, S. et al. 1995, Phys. Rev. B, 52, 4910

11. Scott, A.D., Evans, A., & Rawlings, J.M.C. 1994, MNRAS, 269, L21

12. Sivan, J.P., & Perrin, J.M. 1993, ApJ, 404, 258

13. Smith, T.L., Witt, A.N. & Gordon, K.D. 1999, BAAS 71.13

14. Szomoru, A., & Guhathakurta, P. 1998, ApJ, 494, L93

15. von Behren, J. van Buuren, T., Zacharias, M., Chimowitz, & E.H. Fauchet,P.M. 1998, Solid State Comm., 105, 317

16. Wilson, W.L., Szajowski, P.F., & Brus, L.E. 1993, Science, 262, 1242

17. Witt, A.N., & Boroson T.A. 1990, ApJ, 355, 182

18. Zubko, V.G. Smith, T.L., & Witt, A.N. 1999, ApJ, 511, L57

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: http://www.physics.utoledo.edu/~tsmith/tsmith.html

[Previous] | [Session 74] | [Next]