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In situ nanomechanical measurements of interfacial strength in membrane-embedded chemically functionalized Si microwires for flexible solar cells

, : In situ nanomechanical measurements of interfacial strength in membrane-embedded chemically functionalized Si microwires for flexible solar cells. Nano Letters 12(6): 3296-3301

Arrays of vertically aligned Si microwires embedded in polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) have emerged as a promising candidate for use in solar energy conversion devices. Such structures are lightweight and concurrently demonstrate competitive efficiency and mechanical flexibility. To ensure reliable functioning under bending and flexing, strong interfacial adhesion between the nanowire and the matrix is needed. In situ uniaxial tensile tests of individual, chemically functionalized, Si microwires embedded in a compliant PDMS matrix reveal that chemical functionality on Si microwire surfaces is directly correlated with interfacial adhesion strength. Chemical functionalization can therefore serve as an effective methodology for accessing a wide range of interfacial adhesion between the rigid constituents and the soft polymer matrix; the adhesion can be quantified by measuring the mechanical strength of such systems.


PMID: 22612659

DOI: 10.1021/nl3014007

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