A. Ciaravella, C. Cecchi-Pestellini, Y.-J. Chen, G.M. Muñoz Caro, C.-H. Huang, A. Jiménez-Escobar, A.M. Venezia. 2016. Soft X-ray Irradiation of Silicates: Implications on Dust Evolution in Protoplanetary Disks. Astrophysical Journal 828, 1, DOI: 10.3847/0004-637X/828/1/29
The processing of energetic photons on bare silicate grains was simulated experimentally on silicate films submitted to soft X-rays of energies up to 1.25 keV. The silicate material was prepared by means of a microwave assisted sol-gel technique. Its chemical composition reflects the Mg2SiO4 stoichiometry with residual impurities due to the synthesis method. The experiments were performed using the spherical grating monochromator beamline at the National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center in Taiwan. We found that soft X-ray irradiation induces structural changes that can be interpreted as an amorphization of the processed silicate material. The present results may have relevant implications in the evolution of silicate materials in X-ray-irradiated protoplanetary disks.