The Effect of a Protective Overcoat on Mixed-Potential Sensor Response

Tuesday, 26 May 2015
Salon C (Hilton Chicago)


Nitrogen oxide (NOx) and ammonia (NH3) sensing technology is being developed for application in vehicle emissions monitoring of diesel and lean-burn gasoline engines.  In lean-burn engines, Selective Catalyst Reduction (SCR) utilizes NH3 to reduce NOx. The purpose of the NH3 sensor is to ensure that the NH3 is completely consumed in the NOx reduction reaction, and it is not emitted from the tailpipe. Both the NOx and NH3 sensors described herein are mixed-potential sensors that measure the non-nernstian potential created at an electrode/electrolyte interface exposed to a mixture of reducing/oxidizing gases. The NOx sensor is composed of La0.8Sr0.2CrO3 (lanthanum strontium chromite) and Pt electrodes with a YSZ electrolyte and a protective porous ceramic overcoat. The NH3 sensor is composed of Au/Pd and Pt electrodes with a YSZ electrolyte and protective overcoat. The purpose of the overcoat is to protect the electrodes from contaminants such as heavy metals and water present in harsh exhaust environments. We examine the effect of the protective overcoat on the sensor performance. Preliminary data on the NOx sensors indicates that the overcoat serves as a thermal blanket; decreasing the temperature difference observed between the heater and the sensing element in bare sensors. Sensing characteristics of response time, selectivity and sensitivity will be compared and discussed.