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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Durability of antireflective SiO2 coatings with closed pore structure

Zall, Erik; Karlsson, Stefan; Jarn, Mikael; Segervald, Jonas; Lundberg, Petter; Wagberg, Thomas


The use of antireflective coatings to increase the transmittance of the cover glass is a central aspect of achieving high efficiencies for solar collectors and photovoltaics alike. Considering an expected lifetime of 20-30 years for solar energy installations, the durability of the antireflective surfaces is essential. Here, a novel antireflective SiO2 coating with a hexagonally ordered closed pore structure, produced with an aerosol-based sol-gel method is benchmarked against two commercial coatings; produced with acid etching and sol-gel roll coating. The optical and mechanical properties together with contact angle characteristics were evaluated before and after various durability tests, including climate chamber tests, outdoor exposure, and abrasion. Compared to the commercial antireflective coatings with open pore structures, the novel coating performed in parity, or better, in all tests. Based on the results of humidity freeze and industrial climate chamber tests, it appears that the coating with closed pore structure has a better ability to prevent water adsorption. Additionally, the closed pore structure of the coating seems to minimize the accumulation of dirt and deposits. The abrasion and cleanability test further confirm the advantages of a closed pore structure, showcasing the coating's mechanical durability. While the coatings exhibit similar hardness and reduced elastic modulus, the closed pore coating proves to be even harder after undergoing the industrial climate chamber test, but also slightly more brittle, as indicated by the probability of crack initiation. In summary the closed pore structure is well suited for tempered and arid climates, making it a truly competitive alternative to existing antireflective coatings.


Antireflective coating; Aerosol-based deposition; Accelerated ageing; Durability; Solar collector; Solar glass

Published in

Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
2023, Volume: 261, article number: 112521
Publisher: ELSEVIER