Miniaturized detection systems for nanometer-sized airborne particles are in demand, for example in applications for onboard diagnostics downstream particulate filters in modern diesel engines. A soot sensor based on resistivity measurements was developed and characterized. This involved generation of soot particles using a quenched co-flow diffusion flame; depositing the particles onto a sensor substrate using thermophoresis and particle detection using a finger electrode structure, patterned on thermally oxidized silicon substrate. The generated soot particles were characterized using techniques including Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer for mobility size distributions, Differential Mobility Analyzer-Aerosol Particle Mass analyzer for the mass-mobility relationship, and Transmission Electron Microscopy for morphology. The generated particles were similar to particles from diesel engines in concentration, mobility size distribution, and mass fractal dimension. The primary particle size, effective density and organic mass fraction were slightly lower than values reported for diesel engines. The response measured with the sensors was largely dependent on particle mass concentration, but increased with increasing soot aggregate mobility size. Detection down to cumulative mass as small as 20-30 mu g has been demonstrated. The detection limit can be improved by using a more sensitive resistance meter, modified deposition cell, larger flow rates of soot aerosol and modifying the sensor surface.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Physical Chemistry