Carbon-rich dust past the asymptotic giant branch: aliphatics, aromatics, and fullerenes in the Magellanic Clouds

Sloan, G. C.; Lagadec, E.; Zijlstra, A. A.; Kraemer, K. E.; Weis, A. P.; Matsuura, M.; Volk, K.; Peeters, E.; Duley, W. W.; Cami, J.; Bernard Salas, J.; Kemper, F. and Sahai, R. (2014). Carbon-rich dust past the asymptotic giant branch: aliphatics, aromatics, and fullerenes in the Magellanic Clouds. The Astrophysical Journal, 791(1) p. 28.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/791/1/28

Abstract

Infrared spectra of carbon-rich objects which have evolved off the asymptotic giant branch reveal a range of dust properties, including fullerenes, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), aliphatic hydrocarbons, and several unidentified features, including the 21 um emission feature. To test for the presence of fullerenes, we used the position and width of the feature at 18.7-18.9 um and examined other features at 17.4 and 6-9 um. This method adds three new fullerene sources to the known sample, but it also calls into question three previous identifications. We confirm that the strong 11 um features seen in some sources arise primarily from SiC, which may exist as a coating around carbonaceous cores and result from photo-processing. Spectra showing the 21 um feature usually show the newly defined Class D PAH profile at 7-9 um. These spectra exhibit unusual PAH profiles at 11-14 um, with weak contributions at 12.7 um, which we define as Class D1, or show features shifted to ~11.4, 12.4, and 13.2 um, which we define as Class D2. Alkyne hydrocarbons match the 15.8 um feature associated with 21 um emission. Sources showing fullerene emission but no PAHs have blue colors in the optical, suggesting a clear line of sight to the central source. Spectra with 21 um features and Class D2 PAH emission also show photometric evidence for a relatively clear line of sight to the central source. The multiple associations of the 21 um feature to aliphatic hydrocarbons suggest that the carrier is related to this material in some way.

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