Multi-scale deformation and material removal in amorphous Si thin film solar panels
by Taro Sumitomo, Han Huang, Libo Zhou
International Journal of Nanomanufacturing (IJNM), Vol. 7, No. 1, 2011

Abstract: As modern electronic devices become smaller, they are increasingly making use of thin film multi-scale structures consisting of nano-layers with very different material properties. This makes their mechanical behaviour at very small scales important in terms of machining. In this study, the deformation and removal characteristics of cross-sections of amorphous Si thin film solar panels were investigated at macro-, micro- and nano-scales using grinding, polishing and nanoscratching. Optical, electron, and atomic force microscopy were used to study the resulting deformation mechanisms and structures. Grinding achieved fast material removal but resulted in damage to the layers, while polishing obtained low material removal rate but the thin film layers of brittle material remained intact due to ductile mode behaviour. Nanoscratching was used to simulate the single cutting processes involved in grinding and polishing and demonstrated that brittle and ductile behaviours could be controlled by adjusting the load and tip geometry.

Online publication date: Sat, 28-Feb-2015

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