The particulate soot emission from diesel motors has a severe impact on the environment and people's health. The use of catalytic convertors is one of the ways to minimize the emission and decrease the hazard level. In this paper, the activity of cerium oxide for catalytic combustion of diesel soot was studied. Thin films of cerium dioxide were synthesized by atomic layer deposition using tetrakis(2,2,6,6-tetramethyl-3,5-heptanedionato)cerium [Ce(thd)4] and ozone as precursors. The characteristics of the films were studied as a function of deposition conditions within the reaction temperature range of 180–350 °C. Thickness, crystallinity, elemental composition, and morphology of the CeO2 films deposited on Si (100) were characterized by ellipsometry, x-ray diffraction, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, and field emission scanning electron microscopy, respectively. The growth rate of CeO2 was observed to be 0.30 Å/cycle at temperatures up to 250 °C with a slight increase to 0.37 Å/cycle at 300 °C. The effect of CeO2 films grown on stainless steel foil supports on soot combustion was measured with annealing tests. Based on the analysis of these, in catalytic applications, CeO2 has been shown to be effective in lowering the soot combustion temperature from 600 °C for the uncoated substrates to 370 °C for the CeO2 coated ones. It was found that the higher deposition temperatures had a positive effect on the catalyst performance.

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