45. quantifying sodium migration in silicon nitride for extended solar module lifetime

Department: NanoEngineering
Research Institute Affiliation: Agile - Sustainable Power and Energy Center (SPEC)
Faculty Advisor(s): David Fenning

Primary Student
Name: Jonathan David Scharf
Email: jdscharf@ucsd.edu
Phone: 516-305-1438
Grad Year: 2021

Development of solar energy technology is a critical pathway to mitigate the effects of climate change. To make solar more economically competitive, fundamental research is needed to extended the solar module lifetime to decrease the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) for the entire system. Of the mechanisms known to deteriorate a module?s performance and shorten its lifetime, Potential Induced Degradation (PID), related to sodium migration through the silicon nitride antireflection coating, is the most pronounced. To better understand the mechanisms of sodium migration in causing PID and to aid the scientific and industrial communities in increasing module lifetimes, we investigate the effect of the silicon-to-nitrogen ratio in silicon nitride on sodium migration. Through an inexpensive capacitance characterization approach, we quantify the drift velocity and concentration profile of sodium in varying off-stoichiometric silicon nitride. From this data, we are building a quantitative model of sodium migration to enable researchers and industrial leaders to improve the material design and increase solar module lifetimes.

Industry Application Area(s)
Electronics/Photonics | Energy/Clean technology | Semiconductor

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