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Astron. Astrophys. 333, L39-L42 (1998)

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Letter to the Editor

Silicon as a candidate carrier for ERE

G. , Ledoux 1, M. , Ehbrecht 2, O. , Guillois 1, F. , Huisken 2, B. , Kohn 2, M.A. , Laguna 3, I. , Nenner 1, V. , Paillard 3, R. , Papoular 1, D. , Porterat 1, C. and Reynaud 1

1 CEA/DSM/DRECAM/SPAM, CE Saclay, F-91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France
2 Max-Planck-Institut für Strömungsforschung, Bunsenstrasse 10, D-37073 Göttingen, Germany
3 Laboratoire de physique des solides, Université Paul Sabatier, 118 Route de Narbone, F-31602 Toulouse Cedex 4, France

Received 3 March 1998 / Accepted 17 March 1998


Amorphous hydrogenated carbons and their alloys with silicon are discussed as candidate carriers of Extended Red Emission. In this respect, their photoluminescence spectra are too blue, weak and broad. By contrast, crystalline nanoparticles of pure silicon are shown to satisfy the constraints of available observations. Such dust can plausibly condense, even in carbon-rich circumstellar shells, in the form of polydispersed nuggets, either free or embedded in SiC, for instance.

Key words: interstellar medium: dust – reflection nebulae

Send offprint requests to: R. Papoular

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: April 20, 1998