The inner boundary of protoplanetary discs is structured by the dramatic opacity changes at the transition from the dust-containing to a dust-free zone. This paper explores the variety and limits of inner rim structures in passively heated dusty discs. For this study, we implemented detailed sublimation physics in a fast Monte Carlo radiative transfer code. We show that the inner rim in dusty discs is not an infinitely sharp wall but a diffuse region which may be narrow or wide. Furthermore, high surface densities and large silicate grains as well as iron and corundum grains decrease the rim radius, from a 2.2 AU radius for small silicates around a 47~L☉ Herbig Ae star typically to 0.4 AU and as close as 0.2 AU. A passive disc with grain growth and a diverse dust composition must thus have a small inner rim radius. Finally, an analytical expression is presented for the rim location as a function of dust, disc and stellar properties.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- November 2009
- stars: circumstellar matter;
- stars: planetary systems: protoplanetary disks;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
- 18 pages, 10 figures, accepted for publication in A&