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Stellar dust : formation of solid particles in the wind of Asymptotic giant branch stars

Paolo Ventura

The circumstellar envelope of Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB) stars proves an extremely favourable environment for the condensation of gas molecules into dust particles. This is the reason why AGB stars have been suggested as the dominant dust manufacturers in the Universe. I will present the results of the latest generation of AGB models, where dust formation is self-consistently coupled to the evolution of the central star. These studies allow to determine how dust formation depends on the main chemical and physical properties of AGB stars. The possibility that these models are used to characterise the stars detected by infrared surveys of resolved, evolved stellar populations, is also commented.