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Ceramic Barrier Layers for Flexible Thin Film Solar Cells on Metallic Substrates: A Laboratory Scale Study for Process Optimization and Barrier Layer Properties

AuthorsDelgado-Sánchez, José M.; Guilera, Nuria; Francesch, Laia; Alba, María D. ; López, Laura; Sánchez, Emilio
KeywordsFlexible substrate
Metallic substrate
Barrier layer
Thin film solar cells
Electric insulator
Issue Date2014
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society
CitationACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 6(21): 18543-18459 (2014)
AbstractFlexible thin film solar cells are an alternative to both utility‐scale and building integrated photovoltaic installations. The fabrication of these devices over electrically conducting low‐cost foils requires the deposition of dielectric barrier layers to flatten the substrate surface, provide electrical isolation between the substrate and the device, and avoid the diffusion of metal impurities during the relatively high‐temperatures required to deposit the rest of the solar cell device layers. The typical roughness of low‐cost stainless‐steel foils is in the hundred‐nanometer range, which is comparable or larger than the thin film layers comprising the device and this may result in electrical shunts that decrease solar cell performance. This manuscript assesses the properties of different single‐layer and bilayer structures containing ceramics inks formulations based on Al2O3, AlN or Si3N4 nanoparticles and deposited over stainless‐steel foils using a rotogravure printing process. The best control of the substrate roughness was achieved for bilayers of Al2O3 or AlN with mixed particle size, which reduced the roughness and prevented the diffusion of metals impurities but AlN bilayers exhibited as well the best electrical insulation properties
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/am504923z
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