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Advancing Bifacial Solar Module Reliability and Manufacturability with New Module Materials and Lightweight Transparent Back Lamination

DuraMAT will demonstrate an industrially relevant bifacial solar module with advanced materials reliability characterization and new concepts in low-cost along with a lightweight transparent protective back-lamination technology to accelerate state-of-the-art module performance, reliability, and manufacturability.

We will execute the project in two main thrusts. Thrust 1 will thoroughly investigate the main degradation mechanisms in bifacial modules, which will employ both SmartWire and the more traditional busbar technologies, using our advanced module materials and interface reliability characterization and modeling capabilities. Thrust 2 will develop, characterize, and validate a highly transparent protective back-lamination technology with markedly improved adhesion and moisture protection as a back-glass replacement.

Core Objective

Module Material Solutions


Stanford University


Polyolefin-based encapsulants are increasingly taking a larger proportion of the market share, and it is critical to understand the degradation mechanisms associated with this encapsulant and its interfaces with a backsheet, the solar cell, and the glass as a result of exposure to terrestrial stressors such as UV radiation and elevated temperatures. Understanding these limitations will enable the development of more robust and longer lifetime bifacial modules and models that more accurately predict potential degradation expected through field deployment. 
Innovative plasma processing is a scalable method to produce barrier films on thermally sensitive polymer substrates in open-air, which provide modules with robust protection against moisture ingress.  


Available to DuraMAT community and external collaborators.


Zhao, O., Ding, Y., Pan, Z., Rolston, N., Zhang, J., & Dauskardt, R. H. (2020). Open-Air Plasma-Deposited Multilayer Thin Film Moisture Barriers. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, May.


To learn more about this project, contact Reinhold Dauskardt.

An image of the components of a bifacial solar module along with a chart showing WVTR (g/m2/day) of SiO2 layers

Schematic on left shows full encapsulation structure including novel light-weight transparent back lamination. Bottom right is a cross section SEM image of the multilayer plasma-deposited thin film barrier, which prevents moisture from the environment from reaching the cell. Graph on top right shows the decrease in water vapor transmission rate (WVTR) of the plasma-deposited barrier as the number of layers in the barrier is increased. A multilayer structure with increasing number of layers allows for more protection of the bifacial cell.