An elementary model is developed for grain growth during the expansion stage of nova ejecta. Rather than suppressing grain formation, we argue that agglomeration of atoms by dust nuclei proceeds kinetically through induced dipole reactions in a partially ionized medium. Ionization of a cluster increases once the ejecta become transparent in the ultraviolet which triggers runaway grain growth. This mechanism may also be important in other dust-forming hot stars such as Luminous Blue Variables and Wolf-Rayet systems.
- ISM: dust, extinction
- Stars: mass-loss
- Stars: novae, cataclysmic variables