Anti-Reflective glass coatings

Boosting solar performance

Same sun. More power.™

How can our society get more from solar power? While the technology tends to produce none of the carbon, methane or particulate emissions that fossil fuels emit, to truly realize its potential and provide a long-term, viable alternative to burning fossil fuels for energy, the performance of solar modules has to improve: Today, the proprietary Anti-Reflective (AR) coating from DSM’s scientists is achieving precisely that, by boosting the  transmission, output and durability of solar modules.

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Light transmission

The AR coating is created by depositing a layer of thin, highly porous silica-based film onto the surface of a glass plate. This reduces the amount of light reflected from the surface of the glass – thereby ensuring the highest possible transmission of light and maximizing the solar power output.

Nanopores: The key to reflectivity

The key to the AR coating’s reflective properties lies in millions of nanopores that create a refractive index between the air and glass. To enable this porous structure, we created a formulation consisting of “core-shell” particles, made from a latex polymer core and a silica-based shell. In turn, a wide range of deposition methods (like roll-coating and slot-die coating) can then be used to deposit a 100-150-nanometer-thick layer onto the surface of the glass. The spaces between the core-shell particles are filled with a modified silica binder, which acts as a glue. From here it is cured, with the polymer core removed by thermal degradation to leave a silica-glass layer with a high internal porosity that can significantly reduce reflection. The end result? A solar module energy gain of 3% (measured in Flash tests).

Minds behind the technology

The development of the AR coating has been a true team effort, bringing together expertise across DSM in everything from the development of the core template latex resin to creating a stable suspension of nanoparticles for the formulation to providing the sol gel chemistry knowledge essential for developing a hybrid system of organic and inorganic components.

We also (continue to) work with academic institutes, universities, knowledge centers and customers across the globe (including external partners in the UK, Netherlands, France) to increase the energy gain of the coating and optimize its production.

In turn this knowledge is now being used to create a whole new generation of solar innovations. By bringing down the cost of solar energy we can help and make it a viable and affordable energy source, benefitting both our planet its people.

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  • DSM Advanced Solar

    From Anti-Reflective and Anti-Soiling coatings for solar glass to next-generation backsheets for solar modules, the materials technology developed by DSM Advanced Solar is boosting solar performance worldwide.

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