My research is about the evolution of protoplanetary disks around low mass stars in young stellar clusters. I observe disks at different wavelengths and compare them with theoretical models to understand the physical mechanisms that drive planet formation.
Characterization of the dust content in the ring around Sz 91: indications for planetesimal formation?
In order to investigate cavity formation mechanisms of young transition disks surrounding T Tauri stars, I worked on brand new 0.1” resolution (15 au) ALMA band 4 (2.1 mm) observations of Sz 91, a TD hosting the largest cavity (∼86 au) around a single low-mass star in the Lupus III molecular cloud. We combined band 4 observations with archival band 6 and band 7 data to perform a radial analysis of the mm spectrum to simultaneously obtain the dust surface density, the optical depth, and the maximum particle size at each radius following the methodology described in Carrasco et al. (2019) in the HL Tau disk.
We derived the spectral index (nearly constant at ~3.34), optical depth (marginally optically thick), and maximum grain size (~0.61 mm) in the dust ring from the multi-wavelength ALMA observations and compared the results with recently published simulations of grain growth in disk substructures. Our observational results, which include optical depth and scattering effects treatment, are in very good agreement with the predictions of models for grain growth in dust rings that include fragmentation and planetesimal formation through the streaming instability.