Aligned HNT for Abrasion Resistance in Solar Cell Coatings

K. Song, R. Polak, K.A. Askar, M.F. Rubner, R.E. Cohen
United States

Keywords: HNT, composite, mechanics, indentation


Halloysite nanotubes (HNT), a kind of naturally formed ceramics, encompass high aspect ratio, stiffness and low cost while remain understudied about their coating usage. Theoretical and experimental results have shown a modulus as high as 400 GPa. In this study HNT was included in polymer based thin films fabricated using coating method on glass substrate. Mechanical tests have shown a consistent increase in stiffness, hardness and also scratch resistance as compared to polymer materials without HNT. Composite mechanics based calculations showed as high as 300 GPa in HNT modulus, which is close to theoretical predictions and top in literature. The high reinforcement as well as wear resistance was attributed to high tube orientations, as revealed from electron microscopy. This study aims at development of environmentally friendly and cost effective coating, which is highly potential to be commercialized in solar cell industries.