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silicone to prevent solar cell oxidation?

Discussion in 'Photovoltaics' started by Bernhard Kuemel, Jul 11, 2013.

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  1. Hi!

    In this video

    the guy says Sylgard 184, a brand of silicone, protects the cells from
    moisture, the environment and oxygen. "You won't get 30 years out of
    these if they're exposed to oxygen."

    Now I wonder two things.

    Firstly, isn't silicone "highly" permeable to gas? Does it really
    protect from oxygen?

    Secondly, is oxygen really a problem? I guess the semiconductor is
    immune, cause oxygen forms a highly stable and protective silicon oxide
    passivation layer. But there's also contact fingers and bus bars made of
    silver paste and other materials and solder connections.

    Is Sylgard 184 silicone really a suitably protective encapsulant? I also
    found POLASTOSIL M-2000 which is supposed to be like SYLGARD 184: . Do you think that's good, too?

    Thanks, Bernhard
  2. bethie

    bethie Guest

    nice stuff, no byproducts at all

    they have been using silicone in many situations, spacecraft electronics,
    GE makes some nice stuff, it is like a soft white plastic when hard no
    bubbles likes hign voltage too, moisture cannot get through

    and it is the metal contacts that would corrode

    has to keep out moisture as well.
  3. Mark Thorson

    Mark Thorson Guest

    Yes, it is highly permeable to gases.
    Silicones are commonly used as "glob top" encapsulants
    for chip-on-board packaging, i.e. where a chip is glued
    to a circuit board and then wire-bonded. Silicone is
    extremely hydrophobic, so it keeps the water out.
    If it's a platinum-catalyzed addition cure silicone,
    that's good. Other cure systems may produce corrosive
    byproducts, such as ammonia. Some materials can
    inhibit the platinum catalyst, so you have to watch out
    what materials the silicone will be in contact with.
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