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A Comparative Study Between the Crack Development of Deposited Titanium and Silicon Oxides on Flexible Substrate for Solar Photovoltaic Applications
Keywords: Titania, Silica , Cyclic bending
Titania (titanium oxide) and Silica (silicon oxides) are dielectric materials with very good mechanical and chemical properties. They are widely used in photovoltaic solar cells. However, Titania or Silica in a flexible device is subjected to bending on repetitive basis during the manufacturing and usage. Repeated bending of such devices leads to a fatigue of the Titania or Silica film and the therefore the degradation takes place. In this paper, the cracks initiation and propagation of 200 nm sputtered deposited Titania and Silica on 127-µm Poly Ethylene Terephthalate (PET) substrate after cyclic bending were investigated. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) images were used to study the development of micro cracks in both films. Furthermore, Finite element modeling was used to investigate the distribution of the stress that leads to cracking in the thin film layer. The SEM images showed that cracks start to appear at low number of cycles. However, the crack intensity increased with the number of cycles and a larger bending diameter. The finite element modeling results showed that the maximum stress concentration is located at the center of the sample. Therefore, the cracks usually start at the mid section of the sample and then propagate towards the edges.
Mohammad M. Hamasha, PhD Candidate/Research Assistant
State University of New York at Binghamton
Johnson City, NY

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