Single-single gravitational-wave captures in globular clusters: Eccentric deci-Hertz sources observable by DECIGO and Tian-Qin
We study the formation rate of binary black hole mergers formed through gravitational-wave emission between unbound, single black holes in globular clusters. While the formation of these binaries in very dense systems such as galactic nuclei has been well studied, we show here that this process can operate in lower-density stellar systems as well, forming binaries at a rate similar to other proposed pathways for creating eccentric mergers. Recent advances in post-Newtonian cluster dynamics indicate that a large fraction of dynamically assembled binary black holes merge inside their host clusters during weak and strong binary-single and binary-binary interactions, and that these systems may retain measurable eccentricities as they travel through the LIGO and LISA sensitivity bands. Using an analytic approach to modeling binary black holes from globular clusters, we show that the formation of merging binaries from previously unbound black holes can operate at a similar rate to mergers forming during strong binary encounters, and that these binaries inhabit a unique region of the gravitational-wave frequency space which can be identified by proposed deci-Hertz space-based detectors.