Investigation of Adhesion Forces Between Dust Particles and Solar Glass

Helio Moutinho, Chun Sheng Jiang, Bobby To, Craig Perkins, Matthew Muller, Mowafak Al-Jassim, Lin Simpson

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


We investigate the adhesion mechanisms that occur in the first stages of soiling by measuring adhesion forces between different kinds of particles and solar glass, using force vs. distance curves in an atomic force microscope (AFM). To simulate several degrees of roughness, we polished the samples at different conditions. We studied the effects of relative humidity by performing the measurements in a glove box and in an AFM enclosure. The measurements revealed that the main interactions are van der Waals and capillary forces. We show the dependence of the adhesion force on the several parameters and provide an explanation of how they operate.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 2018
Event2017 IEEE 44th Photovoltaic Specialist Conference (PVSC) - Washington, D.C.
Duration: 25 Jun 201730 Jun 2017


Conference2017 IEEE 44th Photovoltaic Specialist Conference (PVSC)
CityWashington, D.C.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5K00-67802


  • adhesion forces
  • dust particles
  • soiling


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