Early-type dwarf galaxies, once believed to be simple systems, have
recently been shown to exhibit an intriguing diversity in structure and
stellar content. To analyze this further, we started the SMAKCED project
(Stellar content, MAss and Kinematics of Cluster Early-type Dwarfs,
) and obtained deep H-band images for 101
early-type dwarf galaxies in the Virgo Cluster in a brightness range of
-19 mag <= Mr <= -16 mag, typically
reaching a signal-to-noise ratio of 1 per pixel of ~0farcs25 at surface
brightnesses ~22.5 mag arcsec-2 in the H band. Here we
present the first results of decomposing their two-dimensional light
distributions. This is the first study dedicated to early-type dwarf
galaxies using the two-dimensional multi-component decomposition
approach, which has been proven to be important for giant galaxies.
Armed with this new technique, we find more structural components than
previous studies: only a quarter of the galaxies fall into the simplest
group, namely, those represented by a single Sérsic function,
optionally with a nucleus. Furthermore, we find a bar fraction of 18%.
We also detect a similar fraction of lenses which appear as shallow
structures with sharp outer edges. Galaxies with bars and lenses are
found to be more concentrated toward the Virgo galaxy center than the
other sample galaxies.