Maintaining transparency of a heated MEMs membrane for enabling long-term optical measurements on soot-containing exhaust gas
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2020
Ensuring optical transparency over a wide spectral range of a window with a view into the tailpipe of the combustion engine, while it is exposed to the harsh environment of sootcontaining exhaust gas, is an essential pre-requisite for introducing optical techniques for long-term monitoring of automotive emissions. Therefore, a regenerable window composed of an optically transparent polysilicon-carbide membrane with a diameter ranging from 100 µm up to 2000 µm has been fabricated in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology. In the first operating mode, window transparency is periodically restored by pulsed heating of the membrane using an integrated resistor for heating to temperatures that result in oxidation of deposited soot (600–700 °C). In the second mode, the membrane is kept transparent by repelling soot particles using thermophoresis. The same integrated resistor is used to yield a temperature gradient by continuous moderate-temperature heating. Realized devices have been subjected to laboratory soot exposure experiments. Membrane temperatures exceeding 500 °C have been achieved without damage to the membrane. Moreover, heating of membranes to ΔT = 40 °C above gas temperature provides sufficient thermophoretic repulsion to prevent particle deposition and maintain transparency at high soot exposure, while non-heated identical membranes on the same die and at the same exposure are heavily contaminated.
Thermophoretic repulsion of soot
Optical automotive instrumentation
Heated silicon carbide window
Surface regeneration from soot deposits