Optimization of Carbon-Nanotube-Reinforced Composite Gridlines Towards Commercialization

Andre Chavez, Brian Rummel, Nicolas Dowdy, Sang Han, Nick Bosco, Brian Rounsaville, Ajeet Rohatgi

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Solar cells in PV modules crack during field operation from environmental stressors, including extreme weather events, such as hailstorms and hurricanes. These cracks can lead to gradual or immediate acute power degradation. To directly address cell-crack-induced degradation, we have formulated a carbon nanotube additive for commercial screen printed silver pastes. We have shown in previous work that these metal matrix composites have little to no effect on the cell's efficiency while enhancing the metallization's fracture toughness and electrical gap-bridging capability. In this work, we focus on optimizing the composite metallization to achieve the best possible performance. We discover that reducing carbon nanotube agglomerations in the paste not only improves the printability for narrow gridlines, but also increases the modulus of toughness of the metallization by over 500%.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages3
StatePublished - 20 Jun 2021
Event48th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2021 - Fort Lauderdale, United States
Duration: 20 Jun 202125 Jun 2021


Conference48th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityFort Lauderdale

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5K00-81128


  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Cell cracks
  • Degradation
  • Metallization
  • Nanocomposites
  • Photovoltaics
  • Resilience
  • Silver


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