Development of intermediate layer systems for direct deposition of thin film solar cells onto low cost steel substrates

Menéndez, M.F., Martinez, A., Sánchez, P., Gomez, D., Andrés, L.J., Haponow, L., Bristow, N., Kettle, J., Korochkina, T. and Gethin, D.T. (2020) Development of intermediate layer systems for direct deposition of thin film solar cells onto low cost steel substrates. Solar Energy, 208, pp. 738-746. (doi: 10.1016/j.solener.2020.08.046)

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Abstract

The functionalisation of low-cost steel over large areas with low cost intermediate layers (ILs) for utilisation as substrates in thin film solar modules is reported. Three approaches for the deposition of ILs are demonstrated and evaluated; a thick SiOx sol–gel based on a one-step acidic catalysis applied by spray technique, a commercial screen-printable dielectric ink, and an epoxy-based material (SU8) deposited by screen printing or bar coating. These ILs demonstrated the properties of surface levelling (quantified by mechanical profilometry), electric insulation (tested using breakdown voltage and leakage current) and acted as an anti-diffusion barrier (demonstrated with glow discharge mass spectrometry). Moreover, the performances of amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) and organic photovoltaic (OPV) thin film solar cells grown on carbon and stainless steels (a-Si:H: 5.53% and OPV: 2.40%) show similar performances as those obtained using a reference glass substrate (a-Si:H: 5.51% and OPV: 2.90%). Finally, a cost analysis taking into account both the SiOx sol–gel and the dielectric ink IL was reported to demonstrate the economic feasibility of the steel/IL prototypes.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union’s Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFCS) research programme under grant agreement no. RFSR-CT-2014–00014.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kettle, Dr Jeff
Authors: Menéndez, M.F., Martinez, A., Sánchez, P., Gomez, D., Andrés, L.J., Haponow, L., Bristow, N., Kettle, J., Korochkina, T., and Gethin, D.T.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Electronics and Nanoscale Engineering
Journal Name:Solar Energy
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0038-092X
ISSN (Online):1471-1257
Published Online:20 August 2020
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