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Linking simple molecules to grain evolution across planet-forming disks

Planets are formed in disks of gas and dust around young stars.

Salinas, Poblete V.N.
18 december 2017
Thesis in Leiden Repository

Planets are formed in disks of gas and dust around young stars. These planet-forming disks undergo several physical and chemical processes that can lead to planetary systems like our own. This thesis uses data of two well known planet-forming disks around TW Hya and HD 163296 taken with the Atacama Large (sub)Milimeter Array (ALMA) and the Herschel Space Telescope to study the spatial distribution of their dust and gas content. In particular, we aim to constrain the spatial distribution of the main oxygen- and nitrogen-bearing species in planet-forming disks and to explore the relationship between their physical features and the formation and chemistry of common molecular species. By analysing water and ammonia emission form the disk around TW Hya, we conclude that the location of oxygen- and nitrogen-bearing volatiles in planet-forming disks are set by grain evolution, in particular radial drift. In addition, we conclude that the spatial location of temperature-sensitive species trace substructures in the temperature profile of protoplanetary disks and therefore (indirectly) the impact of dust evolution process on its morphology.

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