Effective Recycling Method for Silicon Photovoltaic Modules with Electrical Sacrificial Layer

Jongwon Ko, Soohyun Bae, Se Jin Park, Hyomin Park, Jaeseung Seol, Yoonmook Kang, Hae Seok Lee, Donghwan Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Several countries have shown interest in the development of methods for recycling photovoltaic (PV) modules because the number of end-of-life modules is expected to increase owing to the increasing use of PV modules. Generally, physical, chemical, and thermal (incineration) methods are used for separating glass from the PV module when the end-of-life modules are recycled. In the physical method, the ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) is cut using a heated knife or wire, whereas in the chemical method, the EVA is dissolved using chemicals. Among the treatment methods, the thermal method is widely used, wherein EVA is burned at high temperatures. In this article, a structure wherein a sacrificial layer is located between the front glass and EVA is proposed. Herein, a fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) thin film was used as a sacrificial layer and was delaminated using transparent conductive oxide corrosion assisted by voltage and moisture in a thin-film solar cell, after which the front glass was easily separated from the EVA. The experiment proceeded by delaminating the FTO thin film deposited on the front glass and separating EVA from the front glass. Finally, after creating a minimodule structure, the front glass was released from the EVA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)999-1004
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jul 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 IEEE.


  • Fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) delamination
  • photovoltaic (PV) module
  • separation
  • solar cell
  • transparent conductive oxide (TCO) corrosion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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