Adhesion of reactive silver inks on indium tin oxide


Many emerging photovoltaic technologies, such as silicon heterojunction (SHJ) cells and perovskites, are temperature sensitive and are not compatible with the high sintering temperatures required for commercial screen-printed metallization pastes. Newer, low-temperature reactive silver inks exhibit good electrical conductivity and are compatible with temperature-sensitive substrates. However, preliminary investigations showed that the adhesion and reliability of these metallizations could vary dramatically with ink composition. This work evaluates the adhesion performance of printed reactive inks on indium tin oxide-coated SHJ cells to show that puckering phenomena originating from the porous nature of the printed reactive inks are responsible for lowering the as-printed adhesion strength. Adhesion performance was qualitatively determined using 180° peel test followed by optical imaging to quantify the amount of adhesive failure. Post-print scanning electron microscopy was used to observe the surface morphology. Diluting the reactive ink to reduce silver ion concentration decreased the observed puckering phenomenon and improved adhesion performance. This new understanding enables a more systematic design of reactive inks for novel photovoltaic applications.

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This work was supported by the National Science Foundation under contract agreement IIP-1602135 and CMMI-1635548. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Science Foundation.

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Correspondence to Owen Hildreth.

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Mamidanna, A., Jeffries, A., Bertoni, M. et al. Adhesion of reactive silver inks on indium tin oxide. J Mater Sci 54, 3125–3134 (2019).

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  • Reactive Inks
  • Peel Test
  • Adhesion Strength
  • Silicon Heterojunction (SHJ)
  • Puckering