Soot and Ash Deposition Characteristics at the Catalyst-Substrate Interface and Intra-Layer Interactions in Aged Diesel Particulate Filters Illustrated using Focused Ion Beam (FIB) Milling
The accumulation of soot and lubrication-derived ash particles in a diesel particulate filter (DPF) increases exhaust flow restriction and negatively impacts engine efficiency. Previous studies have described the macroscopic phenomenon and general effects of soot and ash accumulation on filter pressure drop. In order to enhance the fundamental understanding, this study utilized a novel apparatus that of a dual beam scanning electron microscope (SEM) and focused ion beam (FIB), to investigate microscopic details of soot and ash accumulation in the DPF. Specifically, FIB provides a minimally invasive technique to analyze the interactions between the soot, ash, catalyst/washcoat, and DPF substrate with a high degree of measurement resolution. The FIB utilizes a gallium liquid metal ion source which produces Ga+ ions of sufficient momentum to directionally mill away material from the soot, ash, and substrate layers on a nm-μm scale.