Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Hydrogenated Amorphous Carbon in the Interstellar Medium




College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Date Range



Hydrogenated amorphous carbon (HAC), a form of solid carbon with a widely ranging hydrogen content, was once believed to be a ubiquitous, solid component of the interstellar medium. This conclusion was based largely on a similarity between the visible photoluminescence band emitted by HACs and the emission band known as Extended Red Emission (ERE) observed in many dusty astrophysical environments. HACs were also used in absorption and scattering models of interstellar dust to reproduce key absorption and scattering features in the infrared, visible and ultraviolet spectral regions. In recent years, however, other carbon and hydrogen-containing materials, such as Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, have been proposed to account for many of the observed phenomena previously attributed to HACs. In this talk, the evolution of our understanding of the roll HACs are expected to play in dusty astrophysical environments is reviewed.

Conference Name

Wittfest: Origins and Evolution of Dust

Conference Location

Toledo, Ohio

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