Elrawemi, Mohamed, Blunt, Liam and Fleming, Leigh (2014) Metrology and Characterisation of Defects on Barrier Layers for Thin Film Flexible Photovoltaics. In: Proceedings of EUSPEN 14th International Conference 2014. EUSPEN, Dubrovnik, Croatia, pp. 165-168. ISBN 978-0-9566790-3-1

Transparent barrier films such as aluminium-oxide (Al2O3) can be used as a barrier to oxygen and/or water vapor permeation and such layers are of increasing interest for the encapsulation of flexible PV modules. However, the existence of micro and nano-scale defects in the barrier surface topography has been shown to have the potential to facilitate water vapor ingress, thereby reducing cell efficiency and causing internal electrical shorts in the CIGS cells. Therefore, improvement of the quality of these barrier films is critical to reduce the susceptibility of these photovoltaic systems to environmental degradation. This paper reports on the development of a characterisation method for defect detection and then correlates this with measured water vapor transmission rates (WVTRs). The results show small numbers of large defects play the dominant role in determining the WVTR. A unified classification system for defects is proposed where the classification breaks down the defects types into four main functional groupings.


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