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Astron. Astrophys. 337, 847-858 (1998)

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Dust formation in stellar winds

VII. Kinetic nucleation theory for chemical non-equilibrium in the gas phase

A.B.C. Patzer 1, A. Gauger 2 and E. Sedlmayr 1

1 Technische Universität Berlin, Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik, PN 8-1, Hardenbergstr. 36, D-10623 Berlin, Germany
2 Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, D-53121 Bonn, Germany

Received 3 March 1998 / Accepted 19 March 1998


We present a new theoretical formulation of the nucleation process of solid particles from the gas phase with special emphasis on the effects of chemical non-equilibrium in the gas phase and thermal non-equilibrium between the gas and the clusters or dust grains. In the derivation of the nucleation rates from kinetic theory and from thermodynamic arguments thermal and chemical non-equilibrium are straightforwardly included. A hierarchy of expressions for the stationary nucleation rate is given, ranging from a system of equations, which determines the rate, to an approximate analytic expression in the case of a single dominating growth species, which requires only the time scales of the growth processes and the Gibb's free energy change for the formation of clusters.

Key words: molecular processes – dust, extinction – circumstellar matter – stars: late-type

Send offprint requests to: A.B.C. Patzer

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: August 27, 1998