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Spray Deposition Method for a Polysilsesquioxane Photovoltaic Module Coating

DuraMAT will develop a spray deposition method for application of polysilsesquioxane (PSSQ) coatings to photovoltaic (PV) modules. 

Specifically, the PSSQ coatings will serve as replacement for a PV modules glass backsheet.  A successful project end would represent a disruptive, high-risk manufacturing step enabling an increase in reliability at decreased cost and module weight.

Core Objective

Module Materials Solutions


Sandia National Laboratories (SNL)


This coating technology will be a significant step towards replacing glass and polymer encapsulants, and enable higher efficiency thin film cell technologies that are currently constrained by moisture degradation mechanisms. The replacement of glass will reduce the weight of modules, and thereby decrease shipping costs in addition to easing module installation.


This project will bring the SNL spray lab into the DuraMAT capability network and make it accessible to all consortium partners. Further, this project will leverage and bring to the network current SNL adhesion testing expertise and instrumentation. Development of well-defined methodologies for large scale spray deposition techniques relevant to PV module manufacturing could be folded into other coatings and encapsulants efforts.


Kempe, M.D.; Thapa, P. Low-Cost, Single-Layer Replacement for the Back-Sheet and Encapsulant Layers; NREL/CP-520-42795; National Renewable Energy Laboratory: Golden, CO, August 2008.


To learn more about this project, contact Chad Staiger.

Image showing layers of sputtered metal, PSSQ, thin film semiconductor stack, and glass