Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 493, 2171-2177 (2020/April-1)
Identifying the formation mechanism of redback pulsars.
DE VITO M.A., BENVENUTO O.G. and HORVATH J.E.
Abstract (from CDS):
We analyse the evolution of close binary systems containing a neutron star that lead to the formation of redback pulsars. Recently, there has been some debate on the origin of such systems and the formation mechanism of redbacks may still be considered as an open problem. We show that the operation of a strong evaporation mechanism, starting from the moment when the donor star becomes fully convective (or alternatively since the formation of the neutron star by accretion-induced collapse), produces systems with donor masses and orbital periods in the range corresponding to redbacks with donors appreciably smaller than their Roche lobes, i.e. they have low filling factors (lower than 0.75). Models of redback pulsars can be constructed assuming the occurrence of irradiation feedback. They have been shown to undergo cyclic mass transfer during the epoch at which they attain donor masses and orbital periods corresponding to redbacks, and stay in quasi-Roche lobe overflow conditions with high filling factors. We show that, if irradiation feedback occurs and radio ejection inhibits further accretion on to the neutron star after the first mass transfer cycle, the redback systems feature high filling factors. We suggest that the filling factor should be considered as a useful tool for discriminating among those redback formation mechanisms. We compare theoretical results with available observations and conclude that observations tend to favour models with high filling factors.