Photoelectric emission from dust grains exposed to extreme ultraviolet and X-ray radiation

Joseph C. Weingartner, B. T. Draine, David K. Barr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Photoelectric emission from dust plays an important role in grain charging and gas heating. To date, detailed models of these processes have focused primarily on grains exposed to soft radiation fields. We provide new estimates of the photoelectric yield for neutral and charged carbonaceous and silicate grains, for photon energies exceeding 20 eV. We include the ejection of electrons from both the band structure of the material and the inner shells of the constituent atoms, as well as Auger and secondary electron emission. We apply the model to estimate gas-heating rates in planetary nebulae and grain charges in quasar environments. For these applications, secondary emission can be neglected; the combined effect of inner shell and Auger emission is small, although not always negligible. Finally, we investigate the survivability of dust in quasar host galaxies. For unobscured lines of sight, dust can be destroyed out to distances ∼1 kpc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1188-1197
Number of pages10
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 I
StatePublished - Jul 10 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Dust
  • Extinction


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