Wind-driven accretion in protoplanetary disks. I. Suppression of the magnetorotational instability and launching of the magnetocentrifugal wind

Xue Ning Bai, James McLellan Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

217 Scopus citations

Abstract

We perform local, vertically stratified shearing-box MHD simulations of protoplanetary disks (PPDs) at a fiducial radius of 1 AU that take into account the effects of both Ohmic resistivity and ambipolar diffusion (AD). The magnetic diffusion coefficients are evaluated self-consistently from a look-up table based on equilibrium chemistry. We first show that the inclusion of AD dramatically changes the conventional picture of layered accretion. Without net vertical magnetic field, the system evolves into a toroidal field dominated configuration with extremely weak turbulence in the far-UV ionization layer that is far too inefficient to drive rapid accretion. In the presence of a weak net vertical field (plasma β ∼ 105 at midplane), we find that the magnetorotational instability (MRI) is completely suppressed, resulting in a fully laminar flow throughout the vertical extent of the disk. A strong magnetocentrifugal wind is launched that efficiently carries away disk angular momentum and easily accounts for the observed accretion rate in PPDs. Moreover, under a physical disk wind geometry, all the accretion flow proceeds through a strong current layer with a thickness of ∼0.3H that is offset from disk midplane with radial velocity of up to 0.4 times the sound speed. Both Ohmic resistivity and AD are essential for the suppression of the MRI and wind launching. The efficiency of wind transport increases with increasing net vertical magnetic flux and the penetration depth of the FUV ionization. Our laminar wind solution has important implications on planet formation and global evolution of PPDs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number76
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume769
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 20 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Keywords

  • accretion, accretion disks
  • instabilities
  • magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)
  • methods: numerical
  • protoplanetary disks
  • turbulence

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