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Spray Deposition Method for a Polysilsesquioxane PV Module Coating

DuraMAT is developing a spray deposition method for applying polysilsesquioxane (PSSQ) coatings to photovoltaic (PV) modules.  Specifically, the PSSQ coatings will serve as replacement for a PV module's glass backsheet. 

If successful, we'll have a disruptive, high-risk manufacturing step enabling an increase in reliability at decreased cost and module weight. 

Primary Capability Areas

Materials Characterization and Forensics
Module Prototyping and Testing


Sandia National Laboratories


This coating technology will be a significant step towards replacing glass and polymer encapsulants. It will also 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. Thereby, it will decrease shipping costs in addition to easing module installation.

Furthermore, we offer adhesion testing expertise and instrumentation. We could fold development of well-defined methodologies for large-scale, spray deposition techniques relevant to PV module manufacturing into other coatings and encapsulants efforts.


It's accessible to all DuraMAT partners.


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


To learn more about this capability, contact Chad Staiger.

Black-and-white image showing layers labeled "Sputtered metal," "PSSQ," "Thin Film Semiconductor stack," and "Glass."