The influence of surface charge on the coalescence of ice and dust particles in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere

Baptiste, Joshua; Williamson, Connor; Fox, John; Stace, Anthony J.; Hassan, Muhammad; Braun, Stefanie; Stamm, Benjamin; Mann, Ingrid; Besley, Elena

Agglomeration of charged ice and dust particles in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere is studied using a classical electrostatic approach, which is extended to capture the induced polarisation of surface charge. Collision outcomes are predicted whilst varying the particle size, charge, dielectric constant, relative kinetic energy, collision geometry and the coefficient of restitution. In addition to Coulomb forces acting on particles of opposite charge, instances of attraction between particles of the same sign of charge are discussed. These attractive forces are governed by the polarisation of surface charge and can be strong at very small separation distances. In the mesosphere and lower thermosphere, these interactions could also contribute to the formation of stable aggregates and contamination of ice particles through collisions with meteoric smoke particles.

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Baptiste, Joshua / Williamson, Connor / Fox, John / et al: The influence of surface charge on the coalescence of ice and dust particles in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Joshua Baptiste et al.

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